As the weekend approaches, we turn our attention back to the league before our next cup game on Wednesday. With every bit of disrespect intended to the direction of St. Andrews, the Barcelona second leg is a much much big fish to fry than the Carling Cup final. However, Arsenal could rarely afford to think so far ahead, even if it’s only just a few days ahead.
With United’s capitulation at Chelsea and they chance that they could drop more points this weekend at Anfield, we have to capture and savour every advantage that we can get. Because we are a game behind United in the played column, there’s no way we can claim top spot this weekend. But a win will put all the pressure on United in their game on Sunday.
Some team news before the weekend. With the increasing number of players in the treatment room, we will be delighted to welcome back someone whom we have not seen for a year now. Aaron Ramsey is finally back at Arsenal after 2 loan stints away at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff. He may not be fit enough to play an entire game but should get some game time in the Arsenal shirt with the visit of Sunderland.
If you look at the Carling Cup final and also most of the cup ties, we’ve missed Ramsey. His invention and creativeness on the ball would have given us a different dimension when needed. It is now about how he progress after his long lay-off. Will he succumb to those niggling injuries that could see him do a Diaby or will he rediscover his form and kick-on from there? This is the question playing on everyone’s mind but we’ll never find out until we see him play.
Arsene Wenger still have some doubts over the availability of Laurent Koscielny. It was reported to be a hamstring concern but looks likelier to be mentally related. Coming from Lorient, Sunday was his first ever feature in major cup final. It is understandable that he is feeling rather down at the moment, considering he was involve in the mistake which led to the winning goal. Yet, he only needs someone to put an encouraging arm around his shoulder and whisper something along these lines. “Look at how well you’ve done up to this point. It was only one game. Don’t doubt yourself”.
Rather than grumble about the players that we are missing, those who are fit should do their best and make sure we don’t miss those who are out. They may lack the quality of those injured but can definitely make it up by showing more desire and will to win. In any case, we are not the only one suffering from injuries.
Sunderland will have as many as 7 players out with 5 of those that could be classed as sure starters if fit. They are Nedum Onuoha, Frazier Campbell, Michael Turner, Lee Cattermole and Danny Welbeck. I guess that is only fair to us. It will be a depleted side against a depleted side. My only hope is that our depleted can do better than theirs.
Match preview tomorrow. Have a nice Friday.