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Arsenal vs. Cardiff City

Emirates Stadium



Arsenal v. Cardiff City

Arsenal and Cardiff conclude the FA Cup fourth round ties on Monday, even though the fifth round fixtures were played over the weekend. Heavy amounts of snow not only delayed the Arshavin transfer but also the Cardiff replay. The Emirates pitch was indeed playable due to under soil heating technology, but concerns over the safety of traveling supporters for both teams made the FA postpone the match.

Vital Quotes:

Both players and the manager alike have identified the FA Cup as our best chance to end our silverware drought. Arsene had this to say pre-match, 'We want to prepare well because we know it is a very important game for us and we need to focus.'

'We are unbeaten and want to keep that going in every competition - the longer that lasts, the stronger you will be.'

The Arsene added: 'If the three draws put together don't look good, then you must put the whole 11 games together and that looks like we are on a run.'

'We want to transform that bit of disappointment from a draw into a convincing victory, and the team is in a good way.'

Sagna also talked about the competition. 'We can feel it as soon as we run out on the pitch, from the fans, it is the oldest cup competition in the world. In England it is very important for the teams,' said the French full-back.

'I won the French Cup with Auxerre and I know how great an achievement that is. Every game was a fight, a war on the pitch.'

'We have to be focused and try to win because we want to go through,' he said. 'The FA Cup is really important for the fans and for the club and for ourselves. It is one of the competitions we can win, along with the Champions League.'

Robin van Persie commented on the lack of trophies in recent seasons. 'I am like them [the fans]. I feel the same. I want it as badly as them and it can be frustrating when it does not happen,' van Persie told the Sunday Mirror.

'I think positively, though and the fans should do that as well. The club has gone too long without winning anything and we are doing everything we can to change it.'

'If we could achieve it this year it would be an even bigger achievement considering how unlucky we have been with injuries.'

Arsenal Team News:

After Eduardo completed thirty minutes for Croatia midweek, he has declared himself fully fit for this match. Everyone around the country awaits his first team return to Arsenal. Eboue will serve his mandatory one match ban, and Arshavin is not eligible to play in this replay as he was not a Arsenal player at the time of the first game in Wales. Cardiff old boy Aaron Ramsey suffered knee ligament strains playing for Wales, and he will not get another chance to play his boyhood team. Though Gael Clichy has recovered from a cut on his head and a mild concussion; He will most likely play a part in this one. Diaby, Cesc, Walcott, and Rosicky are all still out.

With so many injuries in the midfield, Arsenal fans might see their first glimpse at summer signing Amaury Bischoff. I expect him to get his Arsenal debut.

Possible Starting XI: Fabianski, Sagna, Gallas, Djourou, Clichy, Bischoff, Song, Denilson, Nasri, van Persie, Eduardo

Player to watch: Eduardo da Silva

This time last year, I was unsure if Eduardo would ever play football again, much less in a top flight league. But now just 359 days later, Eduardo will return to the Emirates pitch. I hope he receives the loudest welcoming ever heard at Ashburton Grove.

Cardiff City Team News:

Starting Cardiff goalkeeper Peter Enckelman has sustained a knee injury that will keep him out for two months. New signings Dimi Konstantopolous, Michael Chora, and Quincy Owusu-Abeyie are in the same boat as Arshavin and will not play. Stephen McPhail picked up a knock playing for the Republic of Ireland, but Peter Whittingham and Gabor Gyepes have recovered from their respective injuries.

Player to watch: Jay Bothroyd

Coming to the Emirates, Cardiff will most likely deploy Jay up front on his own in a 4-5-1 formation. He will be looking to use his pace and stamina to catch the Arsenal defense sleeping. He also spoke this weekend of his dream of scoring against his former club.

Match Facts & Stats

The winner of this game will play Burnley at home, and the winner of that game will play either Sheffield United or Hull City at home. Its confusing I know!

Cardiff are 19 places below Arsenal in the league ladder.

Wenger has never been knocked out of the FA Cup by lower league opposition.

Ref Watch:

Mark Halsey will be the match official for this game. In the English Premier League this season, Halsey has the lowest card per game average of any referee. He has managed 15 games handing out two reds and only seventeen yellows. This gives him an astonishingly low 1.26 card per game average. Personally I like the officials to keep the cards in their pocket as long as they can.

Match Prediction:

Even with all of our injuries, I think Arsenal will go on to win this one. I will go with a 3-1 scoreline. Eduardo and van Persie to grab the goals for the Gunners.

Next Fixtures:

21/2 (Sat)- Sunderland (H)- Premier League

24/2 (Tue)- AS Roma (H)- Champions League

28/2 (Sat)- Fulham (H)- Premier League

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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 15 2009

Time: 9:45PM

Your Comments

Not sure Bischoff will start, I reckon we'll play a kind of 4-2-3-1, with Denilson and Song in front of the defence, then Bendtner from the right, Vela from the left and Nasri centrally sitting behind v.Persie.
Little Dutch
I'd expect a tight match, but our technical quality to come through in the end with a couple of moments of superior quality. 2-0 to us. Nasri & RvP to score.
I like Brice's line-up but I can't see Bischoff starting with the FA Cup being a priority, more like a sub for Nasri/Den. Maybe Bendtner in RW instead? Maybe Bendtner-Eduardo up front, Eduardo in LW, Nasri in RW? Our players are so versatile (some truly, some less effectively) that I can roughly work out the XI but not the line-up! I can also see a tight, cautious start to the game, but it could end up quite high-scoring, like 3-1.
didn't Eduardo get injured the day before his birthday on the 24th Feb?? Looked good for Croatia but it's a step up again to competitive football and he wasn't ready to start in my opinion so I think he'd be a reserve at best.
It did happen on the 23rd. I think my math is right, and it will be 359 days later but I might be wrong. You all may be right, but I have a hunch he will start. As for Bischoff I don't think its a matter of the FA Cup being a priority, but instead there's not another player who could play there. Maybe Bendtner but I don't think he will be effective out there from the outset.
We are three winable home games away from a Wembley Semi. I think us not having to go to Old Trafford, the Bridge or Goodison means we've really got a good chance in this competition, but we need to turn up tonight and (if we get through) to the other games. It'd be nice to get a good atmosphere going tonight, but with the 'company season tickets' for midweek games it might be a pipe dream.
There are no excuses, we should be getting at least one trip to Wembley, and Eduardo starting? Wouldn't be so sure on that... would be surprised if we see Bischoff as well let alone see him start.
Fabianski; Sagna Gallas Djourou Clichy; Wilshere/Ramsey Denilson Song Nasri; Bendtner van Persie. Eduardo comes on later in the game.
Eduardo-welcome back and good luck tonight..but I think that he comes on later in the game.
Oh gosh I completely forgot to mention Adebayor in the injured party list. Not to worry though, Bendtner deserves to play every minute of every match ;)
Don't worry Brucie. I've forgotton about Ade for most of this season..... or should I say haven't noticed him! ;-)
navydave - Its amazing how quickly I've come to like Stan Kroenke...
Tonight is where our good run starts. Cant see us conceding tonight so 3-0.
I have a good feeling about tonight, I concur with ian that our good run starts today.
My hunch was right! Eduardo starts!!
Wow, Eduardo AND Vela but no RVP. My only complaint is that Toure and Gallas are playing together still. I think Djourou has done more than enough to be a first choice CB.
Good luck from us at Pompey. Though Cardiff to us will always be the team we beat to win the FA Cup last May, no sentiment exists. Slay that welsh dragon.
nevermind, just found out he's ill
I'm a bit surprised Vela starts ahead of RvP, who could back up Dudu when he comes off as the boss wouldn't play him for the full 90 mins I suppose. I like this line-up and am feeling confident, despite the lack of Djourou. Can't wait to see the reception Dudu receives from the home crowd! :)
I know we're at home against a Championship side, but we look so different - so much more confident and fluent - than we did at Ninian park.
It had to be him eh!! DUUUUUDUUUUUUU is back!!!! :D
Its no real surprise that the addition of technically gifted players like Vela and Eduardo to the squad have sparked our play.
GunnerLou yu took the words out of my mouth, it just had to be him, good things happen to good people, and he's a good man Eduardo, wow man, how happy would Cesc & co, be seeing him back and the way we're playing, our passing game seems to be back, and so much he is contributing to it, amazing, boy have we missed him big time..
Just the 2 players I wanted to score: Eduardo because his efforts are so well apreciated, and Bendtner because his aren't.
he is even making Bendtner play well. Nicky looks so confident on the ball today and his decision making can be compared to Fabregas, amazing man, i have a tear in my eye now. the lads so needed to get their game back and something to lift their spirits. God has come to the grove tonite in the disguise of Eduardo..
well said Rob, both of them deserve it..
Eduardo's goal actually bring a tear to my eye. COME ON ARSENAL
Did my eyes decieve me or did we just see an entire haf of good Arsenal football? I dont think I've seen that all season!! Oh, and Nicky ..... if you're gunna claim you should play every minute of every match you better make sure you don't miss from 2 yards out .... twice!!
hehe wt a miss by Nicky B, i hope he goes onto score a hatrick, he is trying so hard..
I'm still jumping up and down!! Dudu is back with a bang!! Our passing game is back, confidence is back, the accuracy, the rhythm, even the headers lol, everything is back!! I'm sure the boss and the bench were all laughing when Bendtner hit the post and couldn't score the rebound, the whole positive aura around the team is back. :D
hehe Rocky the good old days are coming back it seems. it was a first half out of the invincibles book. i'm feeling a lot more confident about facing Roma now, and hey even Henry missed such sitters, so dun be so hard on him eh..
Wow Rocky's back too!
This is the first time I have enjoyed an Arsenal game in god knows how long! Well Done Eduardo! How on earth did Bendtner miss two sitters!
Rocky, replacing an out-of-form Ade with the technical Eduardo and replacing Eboue with anyone has caused us to play well. I expect Vela to move to striker to give Eduardo a rest and bring on Jack to play on the wing at some point in the second half.
Hey Lou - been away visiting family in Scotland! Whoever said Dudu's goal brought a tear to their eye I was almost there with you. I was stoof infront of my tv with my arms outstreached with goose bumps! So good to see him pay again!!
yeh Lou, and Vela is looking lively too. we can may be start with him on the left against Roma. Van, Eddie, Nasri & Vela, enough creativity there..
I completely agree TP! I even said at the time that Ade's injury would be a blessing. and AA can only add to this creativety. Even the defence has played pretty well ... even Toure!!
and i hope we get too see Wilshere for atleast 25 mins. give these young guns a chance now when the confidence is so high, im sure Jack will kick some ass when he comes on..
Yeah Gkid, we haven't felt this comfortable for LONG time, probably ever since the kids' great CC performances against Sheffield and Wigan. :P
Yep Rocky, it only gets better with Arshavin coming in!! Not to complain, but Gallas-Toure partnership still struggles with long balls...but like i said earlier in this thread, this game could be just the spark we needed.
Toure seems to be finally fit and has confidence back. he's been superb ever since he's comeback into the team. it's amazing how 45 mins of football can change the entire atmosphere in and around the club and lift all our spirits so high..
I agree about the Toure and Gallas partnership. For whatever reason they seem to struggle with long balls. And Toure was not superb versus Tottenham. He was very lucky not to be punished for his couple of mistakes, the Pav one especially.
I was just gonna say I had a feeling Dudu will score again, just didn't expect it to be a pen! :D Also lovely to see him hug the staff. :)
nice comeback for the kid, and scoring is a bonus tonight, he cud be the player to get ye the goals to stay in top 4
I'm surprised Robin is coming on
Nice to see Bischoff get his home debut. :)
What's with the stupid mobile phone and shoe thrown onto the pitch?!
Right foot RvP!
This Bischoff guy looks to have a good touch and good vision, another wonderful discovery by Wenger and his scouts.
Haha Robin comes on for twenty minutes to once again remind everyone he's still the top dog at Arsenal! lol
Yeah Rob and Gkid, Robin obviously saw those Bendtner quotes and was determined to tell the boy to queue after him lol..! And I wonder if RvP has scored more with his 'chocolate foot' and head combined than his out of this world left foot!
I'm so glad this is the season I got my RvP shirt, this is where he steps up from being in the "Rest of the Best" group, to the "Post-World-Class" Group. I love the subtelties of some of his play. His ghostly, lurking movement off the ball, the effortless way he turns opponents and the way he can just pop up anytime with an outrageous bit of skill or a strike so perfect that only he isn't in awe. What a player. And I'm so glad that we are massively beyond being "Cesc Fabregas FC".
Hehe the player ratings in the media are usually silly, but the BBC readers are rating Dudu at 9.4 at the moment. I've just added a '10' for him. Come here and rate if you feel like bringing up the score for Dudu:
Eduardo, you ******** beauty. What an emotional moment, I had a lump in my throat as the 1st goal went in. A gutsy lad, mentally tough, and its fitting that he scored on his comeback.
123spurs too bad yu dun have a player like him who will keep yu in the premier league this season :D
Cesc will be training with a ball again in 10 days!!!
Also, a bit of a class with his celebration, acknowledging the contribution of Tony Colbert, the fitness coach.
Yeah Prits, Dudu's first goal already almost brought a tear to my eye. His celebration of the 2nd with the staff was certainly moving. Yeah this guy's just special and very tough, and also thanks to the medical and fitness staff. We were due a convincing win for some time and the early goals allowed us to enjoy the beautiful football without the regular threat of a heart attack. Even the boss and Pat Rice were laughing at the misses. Great night all round. :)
I think we've found what's been missing this season - having fun on the pitch. For the first time in ages the players genuinely looked like they loved being there.
ED-UARDO, ED-UARDO!! The happiest moments of the season so far seeing play and then score. Even if we don't win anything or get 4th, at least we've had a moment to savour. I truly believe that he is the best finisher in the league, you always feel he's going to score.
Does Eduardo start with van Persie on Saturday? Or does Wenger go with Bendtner and Robin?
I think he'll start with Robin and Bendtner, Eduardo will get half an hour
Hehe btw Happy Birthday to Denilson! :D (Also hope Eduardo will play just before his 26th birthday against Roma.)
I can't see us going with a 4-3-3 at the weekend as we did against Cardiff so I think that would poroably mean RvP and Bendtner starting with Eduardo getting some time off the bench. Should allow us to see Arshavin on the right in a 4-4-2 though.
Just thought I would come over to from vital pompey and say how good it is to see Eduardo playing again. Good luck for the season lads.
The night belonged to one man didn't it? Great stuff. Let's hope it lifts the whole team because they've needed something to ignite the season, I hope Eduardo's scoring return is the catalyst we need. I didn't see exactly who he went to to celebrate the 2nd, but I'm presuming it was either Colbert or one of the medical staff?
Little Dutch
Dudu thanks his family, very moving to see him salute his wife in the stands after scoring too:
What a great night not only did Eduardo start on the pitch for The Arsenal, but he scored two goals for us. Welcome Eduardo, lovely to have you back with us again!!
Apart from the obvious boost we receive from Eduardo's comeback and a strong win, I'm also happily expecting us to get rid of the horrible memories and hurt confidence that the team collectively have had since that tackle at Birmingham. The blow to our morale, the persecution complex, the Gallas thing, the Clichy mistake, etc etc. that came after the horrible injury, we can put all this negativity behind us and at long last have a strong start again. No more excuses or reasons for the little sense of defeatism in the team. If Eduardo managed to come back against all odds, why can't the whole team?
Cheers Zav. Pity Big Tone didn't work out. Hope u lot stay up
ENGLAND-Croats coming to town
Our free flowing Arsenal are back. Eduardo said it was the best day of his life, so happy for the guy!! (so happy he actually kissed Vela on the lips after the first, or was I seeing wrong) Can see him scoring past sunderland or roma, whichever he plays in. Imagin HE leads us to FA Cup and CL great it would be!!!
Dudu is back, this made my season. t had all been gloomy so far. Hopefully the real arsenal will starts showing up. Ian7, the kiss to Vela was to his forehead actually but funny nonetheless lol....
Dudu tooks his goal with fantastic aplomb, Dudu style. When i saw the ball float, i thought goal as he doesn't miss those. A mention for Bendtner: great header and great assist.
Well done to Eduardo,he must have been so nervous about this game so good luck to him and hopefully he can get through to the end of the season and then rest and strengthen it again.It also gives you that wonderful thing called options.A great night for the lad and football in general.Who knows!if you make it to wembley he could score the winner,now wouldnt that be a fairytale ending!
Well done to Eduardo he looked impressive last night, was his first game back in the first team too wasnt it???
lol Ian it did seem a bit like it, the kiss, didn't it? But it's clear in many pictures in the press that Dudu kissed Carlos on the forehead, proof:
As a Manchester United fan, can I just say how happy I was to see Eduardo back, and scoring. I don't think i've ever smiled so much at an opposition goal. Well done Eduardo - it's good to see you back after all you've been through :)
Man utd champions
ian ur dreaming alot of dreaming he done well ok i gave credit for that but it was a home aginst cardiff, now ye think yer world beaters again.
Nobody ever said anything about us being the world beaters 123. Such a gulf of class between the above 2 posts. lol
i prasied him first of all, i was replyin to ian though he was gettin ahead of himself, this season ye never had probs creating chance its at other end
I guess 123 hasn't watched us play the past couple of months... our defending has actually been quite good in that period while RVP has been the only threat.
How good was Gibbs? He looks like he could take over from Clichy if he developed as a defender. And Denilson was a monster!
oh lol, thanks Gael n Lou. In the bar I actually said it was his forhead but they convinced me otherwise lol. 123spurs i never said we're world beaters, I said the free flowing football was back. You think Arsenal have been creative for the past two months. If thats what you call creative down at WHL then you must be used to watching some truly horrid football.
Thought Denilson was great last night, I'm not usually his biggest fan. anyone seen this advert in Japan? Denilson looks like the perfect midfielder lol.
ian thought u were been a bit ambitious after one result, by sayin Imagin HE leads us to FA Cup and CL great it would be!!!, i just said u were dreaming as bit just my opinion. thats all
TP, maybe ye have improved but some say that tour an gallas can be error prone an that Djourou deservea run., anyways shud be interesting tense end to the season for both set of fans.

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