Just a very quick pre-Aston Villa update. Arsene Wenger has revealed that Abou Diaby will be made available for the important clash after recovering from a troublesome calf problem but Alex Song, Tomas Rosicky, Kolo Toure, Johan Djourou, Robin van Persie and of course Eduardo da Silva are all out injured. Meanwhile, Emmanuel Eboue will sit out the second match of a three-game ban that he picked up for his red card against Manchester United a fortnight ago.
The availability of Diaby means that Wenger has some decisions to make. Does he bring the Frenchman straight into the starting side on the left, move Alexandr Hleb to the right and push Theo Walcott up front alongside Emmanuel Adebayor? Does he keep Walcott on the right and play Nicklas Bendtner next to Adebayor? Does he play both Walcott and Diaby on the flanks and push Hleb forward into a support role for Adebayor?
Whether or not Diaby starts, I will be hoping that Wenger goes for a 4-4-2 and Bendtner partners Adebayor up top. They might not have the best relationship going at the moment but even despite Walcott’s midweek goals I think Bendtner is currently the better player and will cause the Villa defence more trouble with his presence up front.
The rest of the team picks itself; Manuel Almunia will start in goals behind a back four of Bacary Sagna, William Gallas (who has received a well-timed backing from the manager), Philippe Senderos and Gael Clichy. Mathieu Flamini and Cesc Fabregas will take up their normal places in the centre of the pitch and Hleb and Adebayor are certain starters as well, leaving Wenger with the task of filling the remaining spots with two of Bendtner, Walcott or Diaby.
Whatever happens, it should be a great game and hopefully the boys have recovered well enough from a difficult week to put in a good performance at home. I think as long as Wenger’s side show the right attitude then a much-needed win and three precious points are there for the taking. Hopefully they can do it for Eduardo.
What do you think?
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