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Blackburn Preview: Win and go 5 points clear 11 February, 2008

Posted by lasagnechef in Premiership.


Tonight has turned into a massive game for us. With Manchester United losing yesterday we must take advantage of this and make some ground in the title race. Last time Blackburn came to visit The Grove we put 6 past them, but I’m not expecting that again tonight.

We’re severely injury-hit at the moment and can barely put out a full squad. Luckily a lot of our best players have steered clear of any problems and we can still put out a decent side. I put this match report on hold until today hoping that there’d be some team news about but there isn’t. Therefore I don’t know about Flamini and Senderos, their inclusion makes a bit difference to how the team will look. Team news will probably come out just after I’ve written this, it’s typical

I’m just going to have to say at this point that everyone who is a doubt will be out. If you hear this afternoon that someone’s going to be fit then they’ll go straight in the team so it’s pretty easy to guess the side. For now though, this is how I see the team if everyone is out:

Sagna – Hoyte – Gallas (c) – Clichy
Walcott – Fabregas – Gilberto – Hleb
Adebayor – Eduardo

I don’t really see many other options than that; Gilberto could play defence but that’d leave a space to fill in midfield, maybe Hleb would play centrally in that case. If Toure comes back, he’ll slot in for Hoyte, the same goes for Senderos. If Flamini comes back he’ll replace Gilberto and if Almunia recovers he’ll be in goal. So if any of those 50-50 players return it’s just a simple swap for one of those players above; but basically that’s how I see the structure of tonight’s team.

Lehmann will get a chance to redeem himself after that error against Blackburn earlier in the season. Jens’ mistake cost us two points that day and that was the last straw for Wenger, but with Almunia temporarily out at the moment Mad Jens has a chance to show us he’s still got it.

Blackburn are a good side, but we can’t think about the draw; we have to win this one. 3 points tonight are vital and could be decisive in the title race. The weekend’s games have set this up for an exciting game tonight, everyone I’ve spoken to is really excited about tonight and a little bit nervous. Hopefully the players will be more professional about it.

I’m going to have to leave it there, I’ve got work to do. There’ll be a match report tomorrow, until then Gooners.


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