Date: 17th February 2010 at 5:42pm
Written by:

On Sky

This week has been a strange one. The 1-0 win over Liverpool seems like ages ago. Nevertheless, a injury riddled Arsenal squad travels to Portugal today to face FC Porto, who have won the Portuguese title for four straight seasons.

Vital Quotes:

Wenger on Sol Campbell: “Sol has experience. That was one of the key reasons why we re-signed him.’

“I thought that, if he needs to come in, he can give that to us. He has done well already and coped well with situations.’

FC Porto Team News:

Porto play-maker, Ruben Micael, will miss the match due to a bruised shoulder. Also strikers Ernesto Farias and Orlando Sa are injured as well.

Player to watch: The Hulk

I can’t claim to know much about Portuguese football, but much has been made of the Brazilian striker named Hulk. He hasn’t played domestically since the 20th of December because of a suspension for violent conduct after the match against Benfica. So he could be rusty, which is good news for Sol and Vermaelen.

Arsenal Team News:

Arsenal have been hit with another wave of injuries. Gallas, Almunia, Arshavin, and Song will join plenty of others in the physio room. Denilson, Fabianski, Campbell, and Eboue will most likely slot in.

Predicted Starting XI: Fabianski, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Denilson, Diaby, Fabregas, Eboue, Bendtner, Nasri

Player to watch: Emmanuel Eboue

Not your typical choice, but I feel, if Eboue gets to start up front, he will have a standout match

Ref Watch:

Swedish referee Martin Hansson will be the head official. Hansson will famously be remembered for failing to see Henry’s handball against Ireland.

Match Prediction:

The game will start off slow as Arsenal won’t want to push forward and fall behind early like we did in against Chelsea and United. In the end though, I think we’ll manage at least one goal. So I’ll go with a 1-1 draw.

Next Fixtures:

Sunderland at the Grove awaits on Saturday.