I have had it with Didier Drogba and the sight of him celebrating scoring a goal or two every time Arsenal play Chelsea. You might not remember this but there was a time 3 points are all we ever get out of this fixture. Since Roman Abramovich used his oil money to sign Drogba, the latter has disrupted the balance of nature. As it is with nature, any disruption is not good and the balance must be restored to ensure that all living things can continue to live in peace.
The solution is very simple. Stop Drogba from scoring. Stop Chelsea from scoring. Find a way to put a shot or two or six past Petr Cech. That, will save mankind. The birds will be singing from tree to free. The elephants will roam free in the jungle. Humans will have renewed hope. But most of all, it means this Arsenal side wants to go from being full of potential to being the finished product.
Chelsea have been struggling for the last month or so and have dropped the highest number of consecutive points since the Russian bought the club. They started the season on fire and were banging in goals from all over the pitch, albeit against weaker teams. Yet, when the opponents gets stronger and Chelsea’s playing staff got lesser, they struggled.
There is no doubt that for the first time in recent seasons, John Terry and Frank Lampard have missed big chunks of the season. Both are past the age of 30 and are no longer able to create record of consecutive appearances in the Premier League. Neither has Drogba been able to strung together a good run of games. The pre-season departure of senior figures like Ballack, Carvalho and Deco has hurt them more than anticipated.
That being said, they are still a very capable side with lots of experience. The return of Lampard to middle will surely galvanise them a little more. Physically, they are a stronger and bigger unit compared to us and Chelsea will be looking to exploit every inch of that advantage. Alex Song, Jack Wilshere and Cesc Fabregas will have to be wary of Florent Malouda when he ghost in-field.
As for Arsenal, apart from the continuous absence of Thomas Vermaelen, the squad is looking very good at the moment. Fabregas will probably get a start tonight and he will be crucial to unlock Chelsea’s defence. Mentally, he might still be slightly cautious over his hamstring. It is hard to play when your mind is fearing another spell on the sidelines. Yet, once he cross that white line, no worries or concerns should ever bother him and Fabregas should just think about winning the game for Arsenal.
Lukasz Fabianski has returned from injury and should replaced Wojciech Szczesny in goal. While the younger Pole has not done too shabbily in his league début, there should be no reason to drop Fabianski after his recent good performances. He will be supported by a backline that is starting to look familiar with every passing week. The French back four seemed to be Arsene Wenger’s preference and I doubt it would change tonight. Their understanding can only be increased by continuously playing with each other to build that kind telepathic connection that a defence need to have.
In midfield, apart from the inclusion of Fabregas over Tomas Rosicky, I don’t see any other changes being made. There’s of course some calls for Denilson to be included right from the start to give us a little more presence in the middle against powerhouses such as Lampard, Essien and Obi Mikel. However, in view of the Brazilian’s propensity to lose concentration during counter attacks and I do believe Chelsea will use that tactic (just like United), I rather Wilshere plays. For that to work, it goes without saying that Song will have to reign in his attacking instinct.
Up front, there is a chance that Marouane Chamakh will be rested. With another game coming up so quickly after this one, the option to start Robin Van Persie is a good one. We can always throw the Moroccan in, if things get desperate. After all, it would be nice to see RvP score another against Chelsea using his chocolate leg. So this is my anticipated line-up;
So, just remember that we must be responsible to the world that we live in. No one else is going to take care of it, if we don’t. There’s a world waiting to be saved. Nature’s balance must not be tempered with in any way. So, let’s win this one for the world, Arsenal.