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Arsenal v. Wigan


Ashburton Grove



Tomorrow against Wigan at the Grove, Arsenal start a run of eight league matches, which, on paper, we should be winning at least seven of them. Unfortunately, what's on paper and what we see on the pitch have usually been quite polar in recent seasons. Forget about the results in Manchester, the title won't be won in these matches. It'll be won against the likes of Wigan, West Ham, and Sunderland. United only won once last season in eight games against the top five. Four matches into the season and we have one point more than their title winning pace last season.

Quick Vital Quotes:

World-class utility player, Emmanuel Eboue, left the home match against Wigan last season in a very acrimonious manner. Almost ten months later, Wenger had this to say on, arguably, Ashburton Grove's most embarrassing incident.

I think he has learned from that [incident] and changed," Wenger told the club official website.

"It is very difficult to describe how he was in the dressing room but, of course, he was highly disappointed. He is a sensitive boy so we tried to help him a little bit. Eboue is a guy who wants to do well. He is humble and decent to people. And when you have that in life you always have a chance to improve your behaviour. If you only think you are right you cannot improve.'

"He analysed well what happened and changed. But he has always been a good guy, loved in the dressing room. Overall we knew he was a quality football player and now he has just become focused on that."

Arsenal Team News:

Robin 'Scarface' van Persie returns to the Arsenal team after missing the trip to Liege. Robin produced a marvelous performance at City, despite being isolated up front with dysfunctional and purposeless teammates flanking him on either side. Bendtner and Diaby had games to forget, and better, more creative players would have thrived off van Persie's stellar display. Just look what happened when Eduardo came on.

Other than the Dutchman, nobody else returns from our humongous injury list. Arshavin, Walcott, Almunia, Denilson, Nasri, Djourou, Vela, and Fabianski are still taking up space in our treatment room. Denilson and Andrey will be dearly missed.

Predicted Starting XI: Mannone, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Diaby, Fabregas, Bendtner, Eduardo, van Persie

Player to watch: Gael Clichy

Oh Gael.....why did you stick out a foot when that Parnaby bloke went by you up in Birmingham a couple of seasons ago? It's all been downhill from there, and Diaby and Arshavin haven't helped the poor lad out either. The 4-3-3 is killing Clichy, and this is a problem that needs to be addressed ASAP. The same effect hasn't been felt on the right side because Sagna has always been more defensively sound.

Two seasons ago, I would confidently say we had the best left back in the country. If anyone finds that guy please return him to London Colney immediately.

Wigan Team News:

From what I've read, Roberto Martinez has only one injury to cope with, Olivier Kapo, who is out with knee ligament damage.

I don't know what to expect from Wigan. Martinez said they are coming down to London to play a style of football Arsene would be proud of, but plenty of managers say that and don't mean it. They produced a stunning opening day result against Villa, but since have lost to Wolves, Blackpool, Everton, and United, before winning against West Ham last weekend. So who knows what this Wigan team will produce tomorrow.

Player to watch: Hugo Rodallega

With an early candidate for goal of the season, Hugo started his first full season for the Latics with a bang against Aston Villa. And after also scoring in their win against West Ham last week, the Colombian international is full of confidence.

Match Facts & Stats

Mike Jones (Who?) will be the head official for tomorrows match.

Match Prediction:

An Arsenal win is all I will say, because that is all I care about. I don't care how. A boring 1-0 win will suit me fine.

Next Fixtures:

22/9 (Tue) - West Brom (h) - Carling Cup

26/9 (Sat) - Fulham (a) - Premier League

29/9 (Tue) - Olympiacos (h) - Champions League

Writer:Brice Coffer
Date:Saturday September 19 2009
Time: 12:13AM

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Wigan have been playing a 4-5-1 this season, albeit a pretty fluid one with Koumas and N'Zogbia supporting Rodallega. Our defending is clearly our weakest link so Wigan probably feel justified in a counter attacking approach. If Diaby is to play he's going to have to keep a good eye on Wigan's pacy wingers. I'll take a 1-0, but I'mpredicting we come from behind to win 2-1. RvP and Diaby with the goals.
Little Dutch
19/09/2009 00:26:00
Let's also look at Hendry Thomas who according to Martinez is a tough but clean tackler nicknamed 'the doctor' because of the precision of his tackles:
19/09/2009 02:40:00
A clean sheet is all I ask for, really.
19/09/2009 09:21:00
A win one way or the other, don't really care, just want the three points.
19/09/2009 09:39:00
I like it when all Arsenal fans "want is a win.....3 points". It usually portends a great game and result for us, as against when we all predict a big win; so, I will say an Arsenal win with, at least, a 3 goal margin. Wigan play a quick passing game, but against the masters of such a style, they will only flatter to deceive early on and then the goals will start pouring in. Come on, THE arsenal!!
19/09/2009 10:29:00
Sorry prits, I can't see us keeping on clean sheet at the moment, but hopefully a Good WIN, will go along way in calm down our fears. Come on ARSENAL!!!
19/09/2009 10:53:00
Nor can I tbh, hackneyval. I'm confident we will score against Wigan, thats not been a problem this season, but there will be little to take away for the rest of the season, unless we start to keep some clean sheets.
19/09/2009 11:21:00
clean sheet please please
Gooner SA
19/09/2009 12:46:00
Hope you guys get back to winning ways. I would really hate Man City or Spuds forcing you out of top four. You have been actually very unlucky this season so you need this. BEST OF LUCK
19/09/2009 13:38:00
of course eboue starts against Wigan, should have been able to predict that after what happened last time we played ;-)
19/09/2009 15:00:00
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