Home Match Day
In the hunt for Maximum points, Rotation is a luxury
By Jude Ogirima – 04-01-2017 0
The Gunners face a challenge today as well as an opportunity to repair the damage caused by that ill fated week in December where we lost away to Everton and Man City in the form of Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
There’s really no point beating around the bush on this piece. Arsenal need to get all 3pts tonight and in the next 4 EPL matches.
Yes I know 4 games includes Chelsea at the bridge on the 4th of Feb 2017 which I tell you sincerely is no mean feat but is absolutely crucial for morale sake if we are to put an end to this barren title run.
Don’t get me wrong, I know it isn’t the only way but it is the way I would enjoy it most. This is largely because Arsenal haven’t dominated a top six side home and away in like forever.
Let’s shift our focus back to tonight’s game as prudence demands a game at a time approach.
We are most likely going to see rotation in the squad tonight which on the upside creates room for freshness and game time for some of our talented ballers who have had to endure the indignity of bench warming and also on the flip side, a possible distortion to a thriving system.
I am grateful for the flexibility of the Arsenal structure on the pitch which mitigates against wide gaps in performance by players who are not regulars in the starting 11.
I expect the traditional 4-2-3-1 approach Le Prof has adopted mostly in recent memory. There will be changes from the side that beat Crystal Palace on Sunday. However, I see just a few positions staying the same. These include the defence (GK &DEFs)as well as the no 10 position bossed by IWOBI.
My gut feeling says Arsene Wenger will opt to replace Lucas Perez on the right with “The Ox”, withdraw Xhaka and start Ramsey with Coquelin then have Sanchez start centrally.
For the sake of rotation, this seems quite appropriate but do not be deceived, Bournemouth are no pushovers. They can hurt you if you let them by not overwhelming their defence with forays of attack.
The last time we played them, we had Walcott, Ozil, Elneny all of whom are not available for today’s game. So if you were expecting a walk in the park, please look again. Özil was in the mood that day and the second goal we scored is testament to that fact. Dazing a defender in the box before floatinga ball that ended up at Monreal who inturn volleyed a pinpoint cross to Walcott who headed home with much ease.
I believe those available for selection are capable of doing the needful but they must be cautious and focused. There were 1 or 2 opportunities squandered by Bournemouth that day that I doubt would happen again given the chance.
This is the team sheet from our last meeting; Cech, Debuchy/Gabriel, Mustafi, Koscienly, Monreal, Elneny, Xhaka, Özil, Walcott, Ox, Sanchez.
Well aware of need for rotation, this is the team sheet I would go for;
Despite Giroud’s unforgettable (scorpion kick) outing last game, I would have him start from the bench today. He reads the game quite well which is why he is an exceptional substitute when he comes on.
Sanchez needs to find his goal scoring boots again if he’s to pick up the golden boot for Arsenal after such a long time. I think Van Persie was the last gooner to win it. Plus a zeal to win it will further push Sanchez to become deadlier in front of goal and dovetail to us winning games.
My prediction for tonight’s game is 0-3 to the Arsenal .