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Spurs Preview: RVP’s back but still no Alex Song 14 April, 2010

Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News.

I’ve been looking forward to tonight’s game since pretty much the final whistle of the Barcelona game. It doesn’t matter what point in the season or where the two teams are in the table the North London Derby is always a special game. This time around you have two teams that are outside favourites for the position they want to achieve but it’s still possible and are scrapping for maximum points along the way. It’s getting to that late, late stage now that a loss for either side and its pretty much game over for them.

The stakes are high and with a possible St. Totteringham’s victory to celebrate plus to return of Sol Campbell to White Hart Lane (again) it’s set to be a noisy night down Seven Sisters Road.

The team news is mixed, the good news is that Robin van Persie is back in the squad which is a bit of a surprise for me but a welcome one none the less. Wenger says it’s “maybe premature” to see him start tonight but he is fit and ready to go and should play some part in the game. My guess would be the last 20 minutes or so when hopefully things are wrapped up by then! Arsene insists he’s not taking a gamble on Robin bringing him back this early and he is fully fit and looks like he’s never been out. Yeah I hope we’re not rushing him back but I believe Wenger when he says he’s ready, he admits that the gamble he took on Gallas against Barcelona didn’t pay off but there should be no such problems this time.

The bad news is that Alex Song is out of the next two games which is a real shame because we really could’ve done with him tonight. No matter though, I suspect Denilson will take his place and hopefully he recognizes the importance of this game and puts in a good performance.

Sol Campbell will start against his former club alongside Vermaelen. There’s certain to be a very hostile reception for Sol at White Hart Lane; they’re still very, very bitter about his decision to move down the road and win some silverware and it’s going to be tough for him tonight. If anyone can cope with it, it’s him though. He first moved to Arsenal in 2001 and he has been booed by the scum ever since then, even whilst at Portsmouth. He’s used to it now and he won’t be phased by another trip to White Hart Lane. In fact he’s probably looking forward to the chance of silencing his former fans, and how beautiful would a powered Sol Campbell header be tonight?

Well that’s the team news and I think we’ll look like this:

Almunia (c)
Sagna – Campbell – Vermaelen – Clichy
Nasri – Diaby
Eboue – Bendtner – Rosicky

It’s our options from the bench that may very well win this tie. Spurs are going to have very tired legs from their 120 minutes at Wembley just three days ago and come the 70-80 minute mark they’ll be shattered. With Walcott and van Persie both able to make an impact as subs they should really be tearing them a new one. That’s what I think anyway, Wenger might end up starting them both but I think them two as options from the bench will be devastating to Spurs.

As I said earlier, every game is must win now and Bendtner believes that this is our best chance yet of winning the league. He says that if we win our remaining five games we will be Champions. Many see tonight as our toughest test of our run-in, then we’ve got Man City at home plus a tricky away trip to Blackburn however all three of those, plus the Wigan and Fulham games are winnable. I said in my last post that if we can win tonight it could motivate us on to take a maximum 12 points from the remaining four games. Anything less than three points though and that might be it as far as our title challenge goes. A win would move us up into second and three points off Chelsea with all three of us having played the same amount of games. I can’t remember a title race as close as this one and Bendtner might be right in saying this is our best chance ever of winning the league.

Unfortunately I can’t make it tonight but those of you who are going I have no doubt you will make a lot of noise for The Arsenal. Everyone else, make sure you’re watching as this is a massive game in our season, and indeed theirs. It’s set up to be one hell of a match.



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