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Arsenal vs. Man city

The Grove

17/04/07

19:45

Arsenal V Man city

Arsenal host Manchester City tonight as they look to rubberstamp their place in next seasons Champions League.

Arsenal`s hopes of playing in next season`s Champions League took a massive dent in the last month after they suffered consecutive defeats to Everton, Liverpool and West Ham. Arsene Wenger stopped the rot at Newcastle with a bore draw, before going on to mastermind a victory over euro rivals Bolton on Saturday.

A victory for Man City could help boss Stuart Pierce secure his position as manager for next season, after rumours he is set for the chop after a disappointing season at the Eastlands.

Arsenal will be confident of victory but they will have to be cautious if City, they travel to Ashburton Grove with no expectations and no pressure; a combination that can often prove fruitful for the Premiership`s 'lesser` teams. 4 wins in their last 6 away matches supports this theory.

Goals have been hard to come by for City until their recent 3-1 away win at Craven Cottage. Their top scorer this season is Joey Barton with 7 goals. One-time Arsenal target Samaras comes a close second with 6 goals.

Barton may be City`s top scorer but he hasn`t faired too well on the discipline front this season, with 11 yellows and 1 red card!

Vital Quotes:

Arsene Wenger shares my concern that City may be most threatening today, because there is no pressure on them. Speaking at his pre-match press confrence Wenger said: 'City might be at their most dangerous away from home because there is no pressure on them.

'They have a good midfield and to block their midfield will be the most important for us.

'They are safe now, but they will want to keep going and they will come here and try very hard.'

City boss Sturat Pierce believes that a victory today could see his team go the rest of the season unbeaten.

Arsenal Team News:

The bad (or good if your name is Tim Stillman) is that Freddie Ljungberg joins Henry, Van Perise and Walcott on the sidelines.

The good news is that there are no other fresh injuries.

According to BBC Sport Diaby and Baptista are both pushing for a start.

Player to watch: Tomas Rosicky

The Czech midfielder was outstanding against Bolton at the weekend, not only did he score the crucial equalizer, he also joined Cesc Fabregas in running rings around Kevin 'I'll never get a cap' Nolan and Co.

I'm tipping him to do a similar job against City and grab another goal.

Man city Team News:

City striker Emile Mpenza is a doubt with a hip injury. striker Mpenza also faces a late fitness test fot Man city.

Player to watch: Samaras

He's the kind of striker Arsenal hate to play against - sh*t on the floor but great in the air. He'll be looking to bring his team mates into play by holding up the ball. He doesn't pose much of a goal threat but that doesn't make him any less of a danager.

Ref Watch:

The leanient Mark Halsey will referee today's game. This will be his first Arsenal game of the season (if I'm not mistaken). So far this season he's dished out 5 red cards and 50 yellow cards in his 22 matches. An average of 2.50 per game.

Match Prediction:

This is usually a bad sign but I'm quite confident about this one. I know both Le Boss and myself (best of buddies are we ;)) both said that City could pose a threat but I feel that Arsenal are returning to form just in time to grab that third place in the Premiership. 3-0 Arsenal. Adebayor, Rosicky and Gallas to grab them.




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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Simmonett  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 17 2007

Time: 2:36PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
LD, somebody has just told me that the Tavern is shut tonight. I didn't see anything about it on Saturday, did you? I think i'm being wound up.
hatespur
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17/04/2007 15:30:00

Player to watch for me is cesc !! I'm really looking forward to his performance tonight. I hope Diaby starts, and we play with a 5 man mid-field. There is less pressure on us now and I hope the players dont let up coz of that. COME ON ARSENAL !!
prits
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17/04/2007 15:40:00

I deffo didn't see anything on Saturday. I'm heading there in about two hours, so I guess the proof will be in the pudding. Otherwise looks like it's the woodbine (has that place reopened yet?)
Little Dutch
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17/04/2007 15:52:00

yes I think it has. I might have a few in the city and watch some cricket. If it 'aint over by then of course. We're struggling already apparently. Bell, Vaughan and Pieterson all gone.
hatespur
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17/04/2007 16:06:00

Right I'm heading off for the home of football. Come on you reds.
hatespur
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17/04/2007 16:23:00

i would really like to see us come out with all gunnez blazing like we did against west ham and i'm sure finish the the game in the first half.
Youngest in Charge
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17/04/2007 19:02:00

No channel is braodcasting Arsenal's match in here what da ***** should i do!
afghenry
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17/04/2007 20:01:00

One Nil to the gunners! Rosicky scored www.livescore.com
afghenry
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17/04/2007 20:04:00

they really dont broadcast all the epl games in England? That surprises me. Im in America and i get every game.
gunnerkid107
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17/04/2007 20:53:00

Lehmann is having a terrible game. every ball that comes to him he doesnt know what to do with it.
gunnerkid107
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17/04/2007 20:56:00

YYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! CESC!!!!!!!!!!!!! AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!
gunnerkid107
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17/04/2007 21:18:00

FABREGAS shoots......................... and GOAL.... why doesnt he do that more often i wonder...
Spartan Gooner
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17/04/2007 21:36:00

he does alot, but the goalie has an amazing save or it nicks the post.
gunnerkid107
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17/04/2007 21:46:00

i meant "shoot & score" :)
Spartan Gooner
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17/04/2007 21:56:00

What a great stadium What a great bunch of supporters we have What a great atmosphere What a result The Emirates now feels like home, I have to say I watched 100`s of matches at highbury and nothing has come close to the atmosphere on saturday and tonight. OOH TO OOH TO BE OOH TO BE A GOONER
gunnerb
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18/04/2007 00:50:00

Finally the midfield is scoring and its wonderful :) Cesc and Rosicky on FIRE!!!
AB_Arsenal
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18/04/2007 02:22:00

great win and a very important one! Fab on Fire!!!
afghenry
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18/04/2007 09:15:00

 

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