The first post (by @apra_gooner) coming through our new alliance with the facebook group commonly known as OTBAG
The Gunners host The Royals in a crucial game on the and we’re expecting no less than 3 points from the game against a side that’s languishing in the bottom and at the brink of relegation after five loses in a row. Reading are 8 points away from safety and with Nigel Adkins taking in charge this week; here’s to hoping that he can re-create the ‘magic’ from his early Premier League days at Southampton when they faced us!
In the reverse fixture in December Santi Cazorla scored a brilliant hat trick as we romped home 5-2. The highlight of that game was our blitzkrieg attack, especially from the left where Podolski and Gibbs were brilliant. Poldi in particular looked very menacing, cutting into the Reading defense like a surgeon. The experienced German has started to form a budding bromance with Giroud, which is reminiscent of Bobby and Henry. The two have already combined for many a promising offensive play this season. Podolski might get a start today with Cazorla moving to the No.10 and Oxlade Chamberlain looks to occupy the right flank replacing Theo Walcott who is nursing his groin strain that he picked during the practice for the England’s world cup qualifier.
Moving on to the centre of the park, yesterday we received disheartening news that Abou Diaby had picked up an injury in training and was likely to be out for the rest of the year. Injuries have been especially unkind to this extremely talented player and we wish him a speedy recovery and pray that he comes back fit and raring to go. The injury doesn’t leave the Boss in a state of polylemma as he has enough potent options to choose from with Ramsey and Coquelin who can play in Diaby’s role. Aaron Ramsey is likely to start along with Mr. Sexy Hair and we’ve already seen this combination being much disciplined and deal with the opposition attack with prudence.
One sweet headache for Arsene is getting the experienced. Sagna back to full fitness but with Jenkinson doing really good during the Frenchman’s absence; he might get the nod ahead of Sagna after two consecutive clean sheets.
ARSENAL TEAM NEWS:
OUT: Gibbs(Illness), Jack Wilshere(Ankle), Walcott(Groin strain), Diaby(Cruciate ligament)
Team: Fabianski, Szczesny, Jenkinson, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Monreal, Arteta, Ramsey, Giroud, Rosicky, Gervinho, Coquelin, Podolski, Cazorla, Chamberlain,
READING TEAM NEWS:
OUT: Federici(Ankle), Kebe(Groin), Guthrie(Knee), Jason Roberts(Hip)
Team: Federici, Kelly, Shorey, Mariappa, Morrison; Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, McCleary; Hunt, Le Fondre, Andersen, Gunter, Pearce, Carrico, Guthrie, Robson-Kanu, Pogrebnyak
PLAYERS TO WATCH
ARSENAL: Santi Cazorla.
Cazorla has been in brilliant form and having dominated the reverse fixture already, he is our man to watch.
READING: Adam Le Fondre.
Having notched up ten goals in the season already, Le Fondre is the man to watch for Reading.