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Preview: Alkmaar v. Arsenal

AZ Alkmaar

DSB Stadion



On Sky

Arsenal travel to Holland looking for their third win on the bounce in 2009 Champions League group play. The Dutch champions are rooted to the bottom of Group H after losing in Greece and drawing in Liege. Arsenal, on the other hand, have made a great turnaround after falling two goals behind during the first match in Liege and top the group. A win tomorrow would almost guarantee Arsenal a place in the lucrative knock-out stages.

Quick Vital Quotes:

Arsene praises van Persie in the Daily Mail, but the real story lies in Ronald Koeman's outline to beat Arsenal.

'Arsenal, therefore, have defects. We must take the initiative, dominate possession and take the chances that come our way."

I can't help but laugh. Dominate possession against Arsenal? Goonerholic gives a good view on Koeman's plan.

AZ Alkmaar Team News:

AZ are not in good form. They have lost five of their last eight matches. They need to do well in this match to get their domestic and European campaigns back on track. Fortunately for them, they have no injuries or suspensions to report.

Player to watch: Moussa Dembele

Moussa is a young, talented winger who can make even the best defenders look like amateurs. Gibbs(or Clichy) and Sagna will have to be aware of Dembele's threats. Here is a video that shows what he can do.

Arsenal Team News:

Our injury rotation continues as Rosicky and Walcott are out, but Vela and Clichy return. Also, Fabianski and Nasri will play against the Wolves reserves on Wednesday. Bendtner, Djourou, Eduardo, and Denilson are still out.

Player to watch: Manuel Almunia

The Spaniard will most likely return to the starting lineup since his recovery from the bubonic plague. It will be interesting to see how he responds to being dropped for several matches.

Match Prediction:

I can't see anything, but an Arsenal win. Alkmaar to dominate possession? Don't bet on it. We might play bad like we did in Liege, but even that should be enough to see off the Dutch champions.

Next Fixtures:

25/10 (Sun) - West Ham (A) - Premier League

28/10 (Wed) - Liverpool (H) - Carling Cup

31/10 (Sat) - Tottenham (H) - Premier League

Writer:Brice Coffer
Date:Tuesday October 20 2009
Time: 6:04AM

Best of International Football News


Vela to get a start? or will it be Eboue? Also, I think we're fortunate that our match falls on a Tuesday this time around, because a certain number of players have played A LOT of games in the past month, and will need that extra day of rest for this weekend...
20/10/2009 13:25:00
If Alkmaar really plan to take the game to us, then I smell a big away win. Also, its almost two weeks away, but the NLD is coming up!
20/10/2009 16:05:00
They're taking the possession game to us indeed. But we're having a better spell now it seems. Shock first goals in other games are making me a bit nervous but if we can take the pressure from them for the first 20 mins or so we should be ok.
20/10/2009 19:50:00
good luck lads - always like to see the English sides do well!
20/10/2009 19:57:00
Refer back to the Vital Quotes above, the praises Arsene gave RvP! I thought he's defo gonna score but he so unselfishly gave the ball to Cesc who obliged. Lovely goal, lovely team work! :)
20/10/2009 20:17:00
yes...and not forgetting arshavin's presence of mind to win the ball too...nice
20/10/2009 20:25:00
Nice counter attack, which lead to the goal from Cesc, more of the same for the 2nd half would be very good!
20/10/2009 20:38:00
Poor Pepe Reina again... made a terrific double save but still the 3rd attempt which was a clear header went in... 1-1 at Anfield... :P
20/10/2009 21:10:00
ahhh ball sack.
20/10/2009 21:30:00
Can't believe it!
20/10/2009 21:31:00
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