Arsenal - Match Preview: Arsenal vs Udinese
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Arsenal vs. Udinese

Ashburton Grove

16th August


On Sky

Match Preview: Arsenal vs Udinese

After a monumental day in Arsenal's recent history what better way to get on with our lives than getting stuck straight into some football?

A very sloppy end to last season left us needing to qualify for the Champions League proper, and a tricky tie against Italian team Udinese was the punishment our inability to close out games last term.

The Gunners kick off the two legged tie with home advantage with the away leg hosted in just 8 days time.

I don`t think there`s any need for me to remind you just how important this match is.

Vital Quotes:

Arsene Wenger on Nicklas Bendtner: "In his interview Bendtner said he was gone, but I checked and he`s not gone at all!"

Udinese 'keeper Samir Handanovic ain`t afraid of no host "I'm not afraid of Arsenal, last year in the league we prepared well for games against the big sides and we did well, so you should always be optimistic. I know I am."

Arsenal Team News:

The Gunners are looking for a new skipper today, however in all likelihood, Arsenal vice-captain Robin van Persie will slot in seamlessly to take over the reigns. However the Dutchman is suspended for tonight`s match after his scandalous sending off vs Barcelona last season.

With Gervinho and Song most probably missing the next 3-4 league games, they will no doubt be starters tonight. Indeed with no other injury news to the positive or negative, I`d expect the starting line up to be pretty much unchanged, with Chamakh slotting in for RvP and maybe Walcott in for Arshavin, but that remains to be seen.

Player to watch: Gervinho

After his misdemeanour against Newcastle at the weekend, it`s certainly going to be interesting to see how Gervinho reacts. He`s looked very promising in pre-season, and attacked the Newcastle defence with power and purpose. However his final ball was lacking somewhat.

Udinese Team News:

Much like Arsenal, Udinese have lost one of their most potent players to Barcelona. Alexis Sanchez scored 12 goals in 32 games for Udinese after becoming one of the most exciting players for his national team at the 2010 world cup, he no doubt will be a big loss.

Udinese also lost Cristian Zapata to Villarreal and former Arsenal target Gokhan Inler to Napoli. So they too will be weaker than last season.

Player to watch: Antonio Di Natale

Antonio Di Natale is Udinese danger man. He netted a mammoth 30 goals in 41 games in all competitions last season, scoring from all angles. He`s also pretty handy from set pieces. However at 33 years of age he could struggle to keep up with the pace of the youthful Gunners.

Match Facts & Stats

Arsenal have only lost one of their last 38 home European games (to Manchester United) so Udinese will have their work cut out to get a win here.

Match Prediction:

I`m going to be behold and suggest a 2-0 home win.

Next Fixtures:

Liverpool (h)Sat 20th August - 12:45
Udinese (a) Wed 24th August - 19:45
Man Utd (a) Sun 28th August - 16:00

The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday August 16 2011

Time: 10:03AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Its going to be tough game but am cautiously optimistic as well. A frontline of Chamakh/ Bendtner, Gervinho and Arshavin/ Walcott is decent but its the midfield one is worried about. Rosicky is no longer the player he was but its very important that he is fit for this one. Hope Song redeems himself after his stupidity cost us heavily. Big game.
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16/08/2011 10:23:00

Iink rosicky has been playing well recently, much more like the slick dude we first signed. Hopefully a decent run will bring him back even more.
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16/08/2011 10:31:00

**I think
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16/08/2011 10:31:00

Arsenal 1-2 Udinese
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16/08/2011 10:39:00

If Rosicky fails his fitness test, we could be looking at Song-Ramsey-Lansbury (who didn't play for the Reserves last night). It shows how light our squad is at the moment. We struggled to create on Saturday and without RvP, it's a worry. Personally, I'd try a rotating front 3 of Theo, Gervinho and Arshavin. There again, a goal tonight could really pull Chamakh out of a slump. But I'm hopeful for a victory, clean sheet of the utmost importance.
Little Dutch
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16/08/2011 10:51:00

Could be an opportunity to play AA in that central role (although it would stifle Ramsey a little) as the Italian teams don't play at great speed so he should be able to keep pace.
No 10
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16/08/2011 11:45:00

Or how about Two DMs in Song & Frimpong to let Rambo run free?
No 10
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16/08/2011 11:48:00

Its disapointing that we didn't have a deal in place with a good midfielder before letting Cesc leave. Now that clubs know we have a part of the money after selling Fab they are going to try and rip us off and we dont like being ripped off - its a stalemate. Anyway, hope Rosicky is fit for our sake.
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16/08/2011 12:11:00

"We can't keep selling our best players and claim we're a big club"-Arsene Wenger,July 2011.Vieira,Henry,Hleb,Fabregas and very soon Nasri gone.What does Wenger mean?
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16/08/2011 12:52:00

Good news about Bendtner
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16/08/2011 13:01:00

What has he been sold? or is he starting CF against Udinese? I don't know what side of the fence you sit.
No 10
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16/08/2011 13:14:00

Out of the players you mentioned Dumbism, we got the best years out of Vieira, Henry and Hleb. In fact it could be said that we mugged the buying club in all three cases as well. Selling Cesc is the only regret as Nasri wont be missed here. You seem more a spud than a chav what with your obsession with all things Arsenal.
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16/08/2011 13:18:00

Bendtner hasnt been sold yet :)
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16/08/2011 13:33:00

why, is bendtner going to save us? our standard has really fallen LoL
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16/08/2011 13:52:00

Who else will? Chamakh looks drained of everything.I rate Bendtner not overly,but i much prefer him down the middle than Vela or Walcott
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16/08/2011 14:03:00

I'd take B52 starting through the middle.
No 10
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16/08/2011 14:05:00

Nervous.. This game is so important.. If we dont qualify for CL, forget about attracting good players to the club. UptheArse
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16/08/2011 15:49:00

Am I the only person who is happy if Bendtner stays at the club..Ive seen enough of the guy to know he is quality..Just not consistent - but that comes with age.
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16/08/2011 15:53:00

i just hope we get a strong ref tonight, as most italian players will fall over and roll about 20 yaards if any one dares to get too close or has the temerity to actually tackle them and its a well known fact that all arsenal players deserve to be carded for being on the same pitch as any other team in the world, im not biased, just very sceptical
cornish gooner
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16/08/2011 16:01:00

Nope Sajit I'm with you. Quite a few seem to be judging him on last season playing as a WF. He does have the qualities to be a good CF for Arsenal, maybe not the worlds best player EVER but his scoring rate of 1 every two starts is pretty good.
No 10
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16/08/2011 16:16:00

Agree with Rocky about Rosicky, he is playing his best game for some time. As for NB I honestly dont know, can't see him doing much better for us now than before as he has not had that much playing time.
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16/08/2011 16:36:00

Maybe AW is waiting for us to qualify before going out and buying the players we really need...
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16/08/2011 17:21:00

I reckon its 50/50 you joining us in the Champions League proper but come on get a move on in selling us Nasri then you can buy yourselves to have a chance of 4th spot again.
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16/08/2011 18:50:00

Bendtner in the center for me. Theo and Gervinho on the either side Arshavin, Ramsey, and Song behind them.
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16/08/2011 19:21:00

Arsenal team to play Udinese: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Song, Ramsey, Walcott, Rosicky, Gervinho, Chamakh.
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16/08/2011 19:22:00

Its a good thing Rosicky is fit to start.
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16/08/2011 19:25:00

Get the ***** in
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16/08/2011 19:45:00

Nice on Theo..
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16/08/2011 19:50:00


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