Tonight see the return of champions league with Olympiakos visiting Emirates Stadium. On paper and in truth, this should be an additional 3 points on the board for Arsenal. No other results are acceptable.
Olympiakos are traditionally in the group phase of this tournament but has failed to make much headways. Today they come into the match shorn of their Italian schemer in Enzo Maresca but will no doubt have picked up a pointer or two from the only Englishman within their ranks, Matt Derbyshire. I don’t know that much about them to tell you how it will all fare in terms of tactics.
Surely Arsenal have progressed compared to the last time Derbyshire played against us. The team has looked remarkably stronger in recent times compared to the soft team which were always harried and hustled out by rougher such as Blackburn or Bolton.
That aside, today also mark the debut of Andrey Arshavin for Arsenal in Europe. We missed his industry in the semifinal lost last season. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. He will be important in Europe where the games are more tactical and I’m backing him to score today. The little Russian was inefficient at the Fulham game and will want to signal his return proper in this match.
With Nicklas Bendtner dropping out of the game due to car accident and Theo Walcott not entirely fit enough to feature, Eduardo will be pushed into the lineup again. No reason was given to account for his absence at Craven Cottage but the should not be any injury concern of the Croat and he should fit into the attacking trio with Van Persie and Arshavin. If Tomas Rosicky starts, it is possibly the most exciting quadruple ever displayed this season. I’m curious to see the outcome of Rosicky-Fabregas-Arshavin-RVP formulation. So, I would expect the lineup to be something like this.
There is a second Arsenal vs Olympiakos tonight and that would probably happen in the London Colney training ground. Walcott is expected to feature in this one rather than the main attraction at Emirates as he looks to get fit again. Others like Mark Randall, Kerrea Gilbert and Sanchez Watt are also expecting to play some part in this game. Walcott would be a welcomed return to the Arsenal side as he’s currently the only attacking outlet with real pace in him.
Here’s to 3 points tonight. Enjoy it wherever you’re watching. Till tomorrow.