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Arsenal vs. West Ham

Ashburton Grove

20/3/10

17:30

Preview: Arsenal v. West Ham

For the second week in a row, Arsenal play in the Saturday evening kickoff. After the trip to Hull last weekend, the Gunners host West Ham at Ashburton Grove. Unfortunately that means ESPN will broadcast the match. For those not lucky enough to be going to the Grove on Saturday, you will be forced into listening to Jon Champions' expert punditry. At least Cesc Fabregas will be back.

Vital Quotes:

Here is Alex Song describing his reaction to the Bendtner goal at Hull last weekend.

'I was like a crazy man,' said Song. 'I jumped everywhere.

'I was watching it with my son and he did not know what was happening - but when Nicklas scored, I just said 'yeeeeeessssssss'.

'It is very difficult to watch your friends when you don't play, but I had confidence in my team. We have the players to come in and do well.

'Now we are in a strong position and we will fight in the games that are left.'

Arsenal Team News:

Of course the biggest news is that Cesc Fabregas is back, but perhaps the injury situation with Gallas is almost as important. Arsene described his calf injury as 'endless', and the French centreback has an 80% chance of being out of the first leg against Barcelona. With his contract set to run out at the end of the summer, suspicions are starting to creep in.

Anyways, Rosicky and Song also will return to to the squad. We might be able to play our first choice midfield trio (Song, Diaby, Cesc) for the first time since the 1-0 win over Liverpool in early February.

Predicted Starting XI: Almunia, Eboue, Campbell, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Diaby, Fabregas, Arshavin, Walcott, Bendtner

Player to watch: Theo Walcott

Two weeks ago I picked Nik Bendtner to be the home player to watch, and oh boy, what is there to really say about that choice? I hope I don't jinx Theo in the same manner.

Walcott brought some much needed directness off the substitute bench last week, and we didn't look like scoring in that second half until Wenger brought him on. I expect him to grab another goal in front of the home crowd.

West Ham Team News:

Zola will have Mark Noble and Herita Ilunga to call on during Saturday's match, as both returned to training this week. However, Portugese international, Manuel da Costa, will be suspended for a straight red card against Chelsea's reserves in Febuary.

Possible Starting XI: Green, Upson, Tomkins, Spector, Daprela, Parker, Behrami, Kovac, Dyer, Diamanti, Cole

Player to watch: Carlton Cole

Carlton Cole will be a danger all night. Sol and Vermaelen need to stay tight on him and deny him the opportunity to link up with West Ham's midfielders. If we don't win the first ball, win the second one. Hopefully we don't gift Cole another goal.

Match Facts & Stats

This is the 123rd meeting between these sides. Arsenal have won 51 to West Ham's 33

Arsenal are unbeaten in their last five league matches against West Ham, although the last two were draws

West Ham have not won any of their last nine Premier League London derbies, and they haven't won a league game away from home since the opening day of the season.

Ref Watch:

Martin Atkinson will be the head official for this match.

Match Prediction:

Couple the return of Cesc with the squad's determination, and I think we'll be too much for the East Londoners. I'll go with another 4-1 loss for West Ham in a weeks time.

Next Fixtures:

27/3 (Sat) - Birmingham (a) - Premier League

31/3 (Wed) - Barcelona (h) - Champions League

3/4 (Sat) - Wolverhampton (h) - Premier League




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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday March 19 2010

Time: 3:35PM

Your Comments

A Derby and so expectedly going to be difficult, but a winnable game. My only concern is with the nerve jangling and distraction that could come with the CL date with Barca. If the lads can keep their focus on games, only as they come, we will keep the winning streak going.
Naijagunner
Carlton Cole will be the one to watch seen as that Chelsea bum licker Zola rested him for the match at Stamford Bodge. We have to play every game from now on with focus. I remember United being drawn against the Galaticos a few years back and getting beaten badly in the 1st leg.....it seemed that every team united played after that were beaten with ease as it was a kind of relief that they werent facing Ronaldo, Zidane, Raul and co.
iceman10
yeah wtf was that against the chavs zola? resting Cole and Diamante and starting up front solely with that fat lump mido? That's surely more of a gift wrapped 3 points than that pin head McCarthy did for purple nose.
nikolaijns
Bit nervous about this - don't have a brilliant home record against this lot. PLEASE win so that I can enjoy the match tomorrow- PLEASE!!!
julieloveshenry4ever
We should be able to cope with their front 2 with Song back.Cesc to carry on goalscoring and provide a few for Niky B ;)
ajwb
Very well done Den and Nik!!!
GoonerLou
Bendy and Denilson combine well!!!
TPowell
Samba skill
ajwb
Crap, we should have been 3 or 4 up by now. Hope it doesnt come back to bite us in our arse
Sajit
I feel bitten...
ArsenalRob
BUT NOT AS MUCH AS I COULD'VE DONE!!! Almunia must have one of the best peno-saving records in the league!
ArsenalRob
******** yesssssss
ajwb
What bull***** is this! Vermaelen didn't deserve this crappy decision. That was NOT a red card offence. Absolute ***** decision and one which may have serious repurcussions for us in the title run in.
Deltaforce
we wouldnt have gotten that penalty in a million years
gronedrone
Was it a sending off? i was checking on my tea ..
ajwb
Eh? What just happened???
julieloveshenry4ever
LOL!!! i've just seen the replay, how many time does that 'foul' happen to us? Bull$hit decision
ajwb
of course we wouldn't have gotten that penalty gronedrone... franco trips himself up and we're down to 10 men... pathetic
TPowell
julie, Tommy V stupidly sent off for clipping Franco's heels. Was peno, but not red card. Manu saved Diamanti's pen though.
ArsenalRob
The ref did a hatchet job on us.
Deltaforce
Feck this! I am sick and tired of the same **** happening week-in week-out to us!!!! Aaaarrghh! 10 men at home! How dare that bloody ref!!!
julieloveshenry4ever
Verm had the slightest touch on his back as he was looking at the ball then Franco just comes to together with TV.10 men but with a goal advantage thanks to a great save from Almunia
ajwb
What the hell was that?!?!?! Vermaelen's leg was a bit high but he got the ball. What a soft pen, even softer red card! *****! Not the first time I've seen a ref roundly booed, but defo the first I've seen a red-carded player clapped off the pitch. Absolute rubbish from Atkinson. Oh dear oh dear oh dear, Silvestre to partner Sol in defence... I wonder if the boss will tell Song to go further back to fill the hole or send on Silvestre for one of the forwards.. ARGHH
GoonerLou
******** bull*****. He ******** tripped over a blade of grass
gunnerkid107
Unbelievable! I dont think we are capable of shutting up shop. ARRGG!
Sajit
Where's Rocky?
julieloveshenry4ever
Song will have to fill in as our emergency PL center back with Denilson or Diaby playing as our DF.
Deltaforce
Someone is kidding us all.
ajwb
I wish we had a termination clause in Senderos' loan contract with Everton...
ArsenalRob
CONSPIRACY to stop the Arsenal!!!!!!!!!!
julieloveshenry4ever
We shouldnt make a sub,play Song at the back and we'll still dominate
ajwb
We'll never hold on.
julieloveshenry4ever
We are *****ed. Not only do we need to hold on for another 45 minutes , we play Birmingham away and Tottenham away with Sol and Mikel.
Sajit
We HAVE to appeal this!!!
ArsenalRob
Thats Julie filling in her quota of negative comments which will galvanise our side to win this game! But seriously...we NEED to appeal against this howler of a decision and try and get it overturned.
Deltaforce
Yeah agree, we should keep the team, with Song at the back and Den doing the DM stuff, Cesc and Nasri helping out a bit more on defensive work. When I said "Silvestre-Sol" I was referring to the period when Thomas is out. When's Diaby back you guys think? He didn't even make the bench today. Argh..
GoonerLou
Diaby is on the bench
gunnerkid107
Diaby's on the bench, Lou
TPowell
LOUUUUU you'll jinx it now
ajwb
Looks like Song has slotted into CB. This should be a good test for the team.
prits
Song wll fill the hole and we will play a 4-4-1, or maybe wenger will brave it by playing 4-2-3 if such a thing exists. Am I the only who is extremely frustrated with Arshavin's performances in these games. Personally I would have started Walcott ahead of Arshavin because Theo will protect his fullback. Arshavin is probably one of the top 10 best players in the world but he just doesn't turn up to these occasions. I expect a big second half from him. Our first red card this season, it was bound to happen but I expected it to for a really bad challenge or two yellows not for this. And btw Denilsons 7th goal this season, all of them have been outside the box.
gronedrone
Arsene's chosen the right 2nd half side. That's a good start. You know what, I think we're more likely to win now than we were before Tommy was sent off. Yet another chance to fight against the circumstances.
ArsenalRob
Atkinson's the guy who gave Man Utd like 90+6 mins against City right?!
GoonerLou
Come on Gunners! Set this to rights! As for spuds fixture, that will be moved back to May if they win their FA Cup replay :-)
julieloveshenry4ever
West Ham will try their very best to get Sol booked again. Hope Sol uses all his experience and avoids ANY kind of contact in our area. We seem to be a marked team today.
Deltaforce
gronedome, I thought this was one of Arshavin's better performances.
Sajit
Don't know where you are Rock, but here it is especially for you- is there any good news yet?
julieloveshenry4ever
Yes, Julie, there is. We're currently top of the league.
ArsenalRob
Get ready for long balls to Carlton Cole. He is coming on now. Will be a test for Song and Sol. Diaby on for Bendtner.
Deltaforce
Great crowd today!
GoonerLou
Aparently Tommy will only miss one match. From the FA website "(c) PLAYERS SENT OFF UNDER LAW 12 (4) and (5) A Player who is dismissed from the Field of Play for denying a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by physical means or by handling the ball, will be suspended automatically from FTCM commencing forthwith, until such time as his Club has completed its next FTCM."
ArsenalRob
Nik B injured?
ajwb
What's going on now?
julieloveshenry4ever
What's going on now? How are Arsenal doing?
julieloveshenry4ever
Julie you can follow live text bbc if you want a min by min update :)
Sajit
Diaby is making some really good runs.
gronedrone
Julie, we are pressing for the second and are applying good pressure. No cutting edge in front of goal though.
Deltaforce
Yes gronedrome. As is Eboue.
Deltaforce
What??????
julieloveshenry4ever
So Bendtner injured? how bad?
ajwb
Green saves a campbell header....! damn..that would have been one vital goal.
Deltaforce
That was far too close...
ArsenalRob
Carlton Cole hits the post. Close shave.
Deltaforce
ajwb, yeah he was injured. Didn't look too bad. It's difficult to say though. Just hope it's not a tear.
ArsenalRob
Any good news yet?
julieloveshenry4ever
Cesc wins a penalty!!!!!!
Deltaforce
PEN
ajwb
YEAAHHHHHH CESCCCCC!!!
gunnerkid107
Why isnt Upson sent off? Clear foul :)
ajwb
This Cesc is on fire. 2-0 to the Arsenal.
Deltaforce
YES!! ******** hell, yes!
prits
Works like a charm! Heh, heh! ;-)
julieloveshenry4ever
goooooooooaal
gronedrone
I don't think Bendtner looked injured, just a tactical decision
TPowell
Love you Julie! :)
Sajit
Yeah and why didn't HE get sent off, eh?
julieloveshenry4ever
I've never understood why players defend with their arms out. You are just asking for trouble. Learn to keep your hands behind your arse! I'm not complaining this time though...
gunnerkid107
It's a pleasure Sajit! Funny how superstitious I am about the Arsenal!
julieloveshenry4ever
by the way, 26 or 27 fouls by West Ham as compared to 10 by Arsenal, and yet we're the ones with 10 men.... how interesting...
TPowell
You have NOO idea the kind of stuff I do , (doing right now) just for an Arsenal win.
Sajit
This may be pushing it- any more good news? : )
julieloveshenry4ever
TPowell, I hope you're right, but he came off with Colin Lewin.
ArsenalRob
West Ham have just been Eboue'd!! What, Nik injured?! How did that happen? I didn't see anything!
GoonerLou
Great performance,shame about the red card to The Verm.Hopefully some results will go our way tomorrow.
ajwb
and I saw someone say Verm will miss the spuds match, I believe he'll miss brum away and Wolves at home
TPowell
I don't know AR, I suspect if it were because of injury he would have brought on another forward and not another midfielder, which to me indicates tactical.
TPowell
I think he may just miss Brum away.
ArsenalRob
Top of the league we are top of the league! Come on I really really want this! 3 more points 3 more points!
julieloveshenry4ever
I'll be cheering on Spurs on Wednesday so Vermaelen only misses Brum, Wolves, and Wigan.
gunnerkid107
Perhaps, but the only other strikers we had were Eduardo and Walcott, who both have qualities, but wouldn't really do a good job playing on their own with only 9 men behind them.
ArsenalRob
he will only miss one game
gronedrone
But neither can Arshavin ;)
TPowell
Oh that's right. A professional foul is only a one match suspension, correct?
gunnerkid107
haha, why can't we figure out how many games he'll be suspended?
TPowell
That is correct.
ptv-
wooohooooo.. excellent team win... fabregas was cheeky, he saw the raised arms of upson and played the ball to his hand.. diaby was good as well with superb ball control.. good performance overall and now we move on to birmingham and get some sweet revenge for events 2 yrs ago.
McGooner
its 1 match ban for professional fouls or two yellows and 3 for violent conduct (shawcros)
gronedrone
it was a great performance all around in the second half, not one player performed poorly for the last 45
TPowell
Gubba says one match ban, disciplinary panel decides if extended. Just saw a replay, worst red I have ever seen.
julieloveshenry4ever
Well, I guess it would'nt have been as much fun if it was devoid of the drama of lousy ref decisions, Almunia actually looking like a goalie, and the dramatic late goal. But, can someone please tell the team they are begining to enrich some already wealthy cardiologists?
deledudu
No TPowell, but he does do so better than either Dudu or Theo, and he's also got the confidence and close control to drop deeper, and let someone go ahead of him on the overlap before playing the pass, something else that the other two lack somewhat.
ArsenalRob
That's my opinion, but at the same time, you may be right and fingers crossed Nicky may not have been injured at all.
ArsenalRob
right AR, all that matters is that we're able to turn out a side that can win in birmingham... oh, and that we're top of the league :)
TPowell
Amen to that!
ArsenalRob
Hands up if you're a scouser tomorrow : )
julieloveshenry4ever
So Thomas will miss one game. Which one will it be? Next one at Brum or the home game against Wolves?
GoonerLou
Me Julie, me! I'll even go so far as to support Blackburn! (Vomitting...)
GoonerLou
Must be Brum.
julieloveshenry4ever
I know Lou- Fat Sam ewwwwww! Ah well, needs must when the devil drives eh?!
julieloveshenry4ever
Here is what we are next doing at St. Andrews, playing a high line. Presumably Silvestre will fill in for Vermaelen and Cameron Jerome wont find it difficult outpacing Campbell and him but thankfully we'll have Denilson and Song to protect the defense. We lacked a bit of motivation in the first half but that wont be a factor when we return to the place where our season crumbled two seasons ago. COME ON ARSENAL!!!
gronedrone
I have watched taht Penalty over 5 times now and am not yet convinced. Furthermore it is very difficult to determine if he was fouled before the box or not. For me the whole team rallied today but SONG was particularly special, that guy has such good footballing sense and uses his body very well to protect the ball and to dribble. Playing as a CB seemed like second nature and he filled in seamlessly, but I enjoy his coolness. I trust these boys and I think Barcelona is in for a shock.
phreddy
Hey Guys! Great to see everyone in a good mood. Couldn't watch the game as I had to be at a scheduled meeting the whole day, but followed things on "Live score". TV should only miss one game if it was a professional foul so we can live with Sol and Song for one more game, before the CL clash. ManU and the Chavs should be feeling the pressure now and something tells me the tide is about to turn. Keep the belief.
Naijagunner
First, that was my favorite game this season! We were fantastic! ***** reffing for and against us, weak penalty, bizar sending off but a stunning team performance! And yes Song was a dream! Why is everyone saying TV will only miss one game? Surely a straight red is 3 games?
No 10
Because it looks like a professional foul red card which is one-match suspension; violent conduct merits 3 automatically and I think I remember Reading somewhere that using foul/aggressive language to the ref merits 2 matches. Additional suspensions are added on for players sent off more than once in the season. Since our lads have been such good boys this year and this ridiculously "soft" red is a unfair blemish of our reputation, Tommy is in no danger of that. Hence ONE game only. But it really was a very poor red to give. Tommy was very hard done by indeed...
julieloveshenry4ever
Really good job by Song slotting into an unfamiliar posistion, him and Sol performed very well back there and looked solid. Denilson has really picked up his game, he did his job perfectly. Good to have Cesc back, i think without him we would've struggled more going forward with 10 men. Good result. Now a Liverpool win tomorrow would be fantastic! And also, go the spuds in there FA cup replay!
FuiKaka
Song was impressive. Beautiful touches and intercepts in midfield. Impressive at the back too. In total the lads had a good game. Cheeky Cesc penalty win... :)
Omogusii
Oh... and the current poll really shows how many pessimists there are.
Omogusii
The Poll is free for all and you can bet the Spuds, Chavs & Mancs fans will be having a field day submitting their dreams to reveal their worst nightmares.
Naijagunner
The Poll is free for all and you can bet the Spuds, Chavs & Mancs fans will be having a field day submitting their dreams to reveal their worst nightmares.
Naijagunner
I thought that was the best game I've seen Denilson play this season. Him, Song and Cesc were brilliant. Diaby is going to be one hell of a player for us if he can stay injury-free, what an athlete he is.
Gooner_Vin
I have seen a recap of the game and agree with you, G_V, on Denilson; he only needs to be more meaty and aware in possession, as he gets bumped off the ball too easily, sometimes. On another note, while I know the fixture list is done long before the season starts, I have seen some changes made where there are fixture clogs, owing to say Euro/cup games, or cup replays. It is curious for me, that Man U will be playing back-to-back games against teams that had to play Thursday games before the Sunday fixtures against them; while Fulham played Thursday, last week, L'pool played on Monday, Thursday and have to play Man U on Sunday. Their (lack of) fitness level should suit the Mancs well, imo. Furthermore on the "conspiracy" theories, I will be looking out for poor officiating (Yellow/red cards, poor foul calls, players' intimidation,etc) against the Mancs, today. Call me paranoid, if you like, but even the Red card against TV looked like a script being played out. Okay, that is a bit too much to imagine.
Naijagunner
***against Liverpool**
Naijagunner
Whether or not we win the league is now immaterial. This is one of the best Arsenal sides I've ever seen, and they WILL win trophies soon, if not this season. Question after question asked, answer after answer given. What ever get's thrown at these boys they just toss it straight back. They have come of age this past 4-5 months, and if they can keep it going for the next few years, they'll be raking in the medals.
Rocky7
I'm still buzzing after watching The Arsenal, play West Ham off the Park! At times I wondered if West Ham had gone down to 10 men as our players were Brilliant! And we fans at The Grove really got behind players and the atmosphere was rocking, I totally Loved it, when we started to sing "We've only got 10 men"LOL LOL Come on Arsenal!
hackneyval
Spoken in true Arsenesque fashion, Rocky. I have said the ame thing to anyone who cared to listen. I have believed and posted my thoughts on this forum since November; the difference is in the change in the team's character, epitomised by it's being the team with the highest number of late goals, a statistics which portrays a side that doesn't know when it is beaten (come back kids), plus the number of times it has been written off and as come back stronger. We re on a roll and can only get better. You can see the number of 'old & new fans' who have returned to the forum; success has many fathers, while failure is an Orphan, as a favourite saying goes, eh. PS: where were you yesterday when Julie was calling out for your collaborative support of her "any good news?" superstitious rant? It keeps working.
Naijagunner
I got relegated up stairs to watch the game by the Mrs. But I knew the power of Julie would be enough to see us through.
Rocky7
2 seasons back also, we answered some tough questions in the 1st half of the season to be on top of the league till Feb. But we couldnt manage it past the line. This team looks different to me, and in the space of a few months too, they've added some steel to their spine. I still fancy ManU for the title, but I'm loving the fight that this team is putting up.
prits
It appears Rocky is the 'Portsmouth' of his household :P
FuiKaka
Actually, Portsmouth got relegated 'downstairs' so, a slightly different proposition, if you ask me : ) Agree with you Prits; Man U have their tails up now and will usually try to be difficult to beat, once they can see the finish line. However, I am convinced they will still drop 3 points more than we shall going to the end of the season.
Naijagunner
 

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