L’pool bring the party to N/London: What To Expect.Top of the morning boys and girls. Feeling a bit groggy this morning but a quick post to set the mood right for the late kickoff should be in order. Let’s get to it then, shall we?
We are in the same position as last weekend, psychologically at least. We go into today’s game needing to set things straight.
Like against Dortmund the last time, our midweek performance was unexpected and the team needs to show it’s merely a hitch, not the beginning of a free fall.
As much as I’d like not to talk about the game against Chelsea, it’s disappointing to see our fringe players fail to rise to the occasion.
Maybe it’s just the League Cup, but we’re not really in a position to pick which one to win.
If we do decided to forfeit a cup for a good run in the league, I struggle to see how that run will last if there are only 15 players one can trust to do the job.
That said, we could have done better with Chamberlain, Walcott, Poldi and Gnabry in the side. Spilt milk. Moving on.
The ‘big boys’ return to the starting XI for this one. Arteta from his suspension; Mert4, Sz1 and Sagna did not feature at all in midweek; Ozil, Giroud, with subs appearances.
L’pool have Coutinho returning for this game too and that’s added firepower given what they already have upfront.
The Suarez/Sturridge partnership represents everything that is good about L’pool this season and if we can keep them quiet, then we have done half the job. Both men have a thing for going down very easily. Our defenders (Kos especially) have to be very smart when tackling either one in the box.
The other half involves making sure our attackers hurt the opposition.
Predicted XI: Sz1; Sagna, Kos, Mert4, Gibbs; Arteta,
Wilshere; Ozil, Santi, Ramsey; Oli.
Gnabry is out with an ankle problem and giving the make-up of our squad at the moment, that’s a huge blow. We have no willing runner in the side, someone willing to take defenders on.
The alternative is Ryo but he’s always looked out of his depth each time I’ve watched him this season.
Chelsea on Tuesday marked the beginning of a difficult run of fixtures, the biggest test of our resolve and character. Three points today will consign the Chelsea loss to the history books.
We take this series of tests one game at a time, even though there’s barely enough time to take stock before the next task shows up.
This team tends to perform when it has its backs to the wall. Well, we’re still top of the table but there are people doubting our credibility from every corner of the world.
Like Wenger said, it’s down to us to prove the doubters wrong and show them the table does not lie.
We can begin that mission by smashing the mugsmashers later today. I’ll go for a 3-1 win to the good guys.