I have an embarrassing confession to make. I thought Liverpool was going to be the title contender this year. I know, I know, laugh all you want. I knew their squad was pathetically thin, but I just had this feeling they were going to get lucky with injuries. Obviously, that was not the case, and, in fact, it was the complete opposite. I should start thinking that about all our rivals next season.
Unfortunately for us, tomorrow we won’t face the same team that crashed out of Europe’s premier competition before the final matchday. We will see the team that handled Manchester United with consummate ease. Arsene’s troops have already failed their three biggest tests of the season, so they can’t fall short again.
This has nothing to do with Sunday’s match, but I think we can all let out a sigh of relief because of these eight words.
‘There is no truth in the Pavlyuchenko stories,’ said Arsene Wenger.
Liverpool Team News:
According to Rafa, Liverpool’s season starts on Sunday. Fernando Torres will start his first league match in six weeks, and summer signing Alberto Aquilani could also start. The Italian looked a class act in his Carling Cup cameo at the Grove. Babel is a doubt. Crap, I wanted him to play.
Player to watch: Steven Gerrard
England’s best player (and best diver) was not happy with his sides performance against Fiorentina. I can guarantee you he’ll have a good game tomorrow.
Arsenal Team News:
There is no new injuries to report because none of the starters, bar Song, traveled to Greece. Eduardo and Diaby could return, but they are listed as doubtful. Bendtner has suffered a setback which will keep him out until the New Year. Clichy, Djourou, Gibbs, van Persie, Rosicky, and Eboue will be missing.
Who will start in goal? Fabianski had a strong outing against Olympiakos, but has that earned him a chance at Anfield? We will have to see.
My Predicted Starting XI: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Traore, Song, Denilson, Fabregas, Walcott, Nasri, Arshavin
Player to watch: Andrey Arshavin
Who else? The only player to score 4 goals and still not play a good game. I thought his movement and defending for most of last year’s roller coaster match was poor. Hopefully he gets played in the lone spot up front and plays like he did against Stoke.
Coward Webb, ****. Enough said.
Arsenal hasn’t won at Anfield since our four day smash and grab in 2007. I don’t see that changing. Another draw it is. 4-4 anyone?
16/12 (Wed) – Burnley (a) – Premier League
19/12 (Sat) – Hull City (h) – Premier League
27/12 (Sun) – Aston Villa (h) – Premier League
The match will be on SS1 in England, and FSC in the States.
Have a good weekend Gooners!