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Little and large combo

If Chelsea do not end up beating West Ham, Arsenal could have a chance to go top should they win against Hull. Lying second from bottom, Hull may not look like a side that can stop Arsenal’s march towards the summit. However, the table can be deceiving, especially in the Premier League. Hull are only 6 points away from 13th place Sunderland who have 30 points. In their last 2 home games, Hull managed to hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw as well as beating Man City 2-1.

What Arsenal do have over those two are the good record against smaller teams. Other than Sunderland as Stadium of Light, Arsenal have not lost any games to the lower teams in the division. The form that the team seemed to have picked up over the last few weeks is also another reason for optimism. The ability to come back and win at Stoke even when one of our budding midfielder suffered a broken leg. The trashing of Porto to register our name in the next phase will go a long way to increase the confidence of the squad.

Cesc Fabregas will still be missing for this match as he continues his recovery from the hamstring injury that has beset him most of the season. The massive figure of William Gallas is also missing as his calf problems prevents him from featuring. Alex Song completes his final suspension for collecting 10 yellow cards. I don’t whether Campbell is ready to play again after the midweek exertions but like Arseblog, I’m willing to take that risk since West Ham at the Grove is still another whole 7 days apart from this one. This is how I see the team lining up,

Almunia

Sagna—Campbell—Vermaelen—Clichy

Diaby—Denilson—Nasri

Walcott—Bendtner—Arshavin

Like I said 2 days ago, we can’t afford to rest players from now till the end of the season. As seasoned pros, they have to ensure their fitness will last the entire season. Denilson should come in for the suspended Song and he will be key again. Jimmy Bullard is likely to be the one pulling the strings for Hull tonight and whether or not Bullard is affected by his public spat with Nick Barmby, Denilson will have to be cautious of this lively fellow.

The combination of Bendtner and Arshavin up front is a good pairing. The former is always much better in the central role than the one on the right which he held at the start of the season. The latter is a total opposite of that and his return to the flanks have seen him put in a better shift than when he had to fight against 6 footers in the middle. With every goal scored, you can see that both of them have good camaraderie. We’ve seen before how close ties off the field helps when in the field. The combination of Pires and Henry was a joy to watch. Can this partnership grow to that level? Time will tell.

We’ve just got to take this match with the same attitude as when we approached the Porto game. There is no place for complacency in this league. The moment you slack off just a little bit, the opposition will crush you. The winning margin is not as important as the 3 points that is on offer. Here’s to a good win and back to the top of the pile.

Enjoy it. Till tomorrow.

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