To get straight to the point, the reasons why Johan Djourou and Carlos Vela should start against Sunderland are:
- Kenwyn Jones will be playing.
- Emmanuel Eboue is our only other option on the wing.
Well, the second is not strictly true, but if the manager’s pre-match comments are anything to go by then it seems unlikely that Andrey Arshavin will start. That leaves Vela or Eboue and for me it’s a no-brainer. Do you pick the player who ran Cardiff ragged on the left on Monday or the man who let everyone down against Tottenham and has struggled for form all season? It’s not a hard choice.
The decision to play Djourou should be even more clear-cut for Wenger. The pairing of William Gallas and Kolo Toure is simply too short to deal with the power of Kenwyn Jones needs to be dealt with. In my eyes Djourou is the man for the job.
The rest of the team picks itself. Eduardo’s unfortunate – but minor – injury means that Nicklas Bendtner will partner Robin van Persie up front, although that was likely to be the case regardless of the Crozilian’s availability. Gael Clichy should return in place of Kieran Gibbs while the midfield is likely to consist of Alex Song, Denilson, Samir Nasri and (hopefully) Vela.
Sunderland are in decent form and have some nice attackers in their side, so the result is far from a formality despite our home advantage. The major talking point of the day will undoubtedly be the debut of Arshavin and Wenger has confirmed that he will definitely play a part. To expect him to have a tangible impact in his first game would be a little unfair, but I’m extremely excited to see what sort of performance he puts in if he gets on the pitch.
Like every game coming up in the next two months, Saturday’s game is must-win. Confidence will be high after the 4-0 drubbing of Cardiff and if the likes of van Persie, Bendtner and Nasri can continue their good form then our boys are likely to come away with a win.
Come on Arsenal and good luck Andrey!
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