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Champions League Preview

March 9th, 2010

ARSENAL v. PORTO

The Gunners will need a victory and a victory only in order to ensure their progression out of the last 16.  In the first leg of the tie, Arsenal gifted Porto a victory and will surely be coming out of the gates hard and fast from the opening whistle.  However, without their talismanic leader in Fabregas and their defensive stalwart in Gallas, Arsenal just may be prone to mistakes.

From Russia with love.

After losing Aaron Ramsey to the leg break, we may get a chance at seeing Rosicky and Eboue could be in line for a start.  Hulk will be the focus of Arsenal’s attention as the Brazilian has a knack of creating chances and causing chaos.  But can he take advantage of the injury-ravaged Arsenal squad?

Arsenal 3 – 1 Porto

FIORENTINA v. BAYERN MUNICH

“This is truly the game of our lives,” said Fiorentina captain Riccardo Montolivo.  After being unjustly beaten in Bayern Munich by a goal that should have disallowed for offside, Fiorentina will be itching to beat the Germans.  This second leg should prove to be quite a passionate game as Montolivo also was quoted as saying, “We will bring out all the anger that we have carried since the first leg at the Allianz Arena.”  Unfortunately for the Fiorentina, they will be without Adrian Mutu and Massimo Gobbi.  However, Jovetic, Gilardino and the addition of Vargas should be up to the task of dismantling Bayern’s defense, which will be without Demichelis.  Expect fireworks.

Fiorentina 3 – 2 Bayern Munich

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Weekend Preview – Saturday – Gameweek 29

March 6th, 2010

ARSENAL v. BURNLEY

This is the first game back for the Gunners after the horrific leg break of Aaron Ramsey, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the boys are on a mission to win this game for him.  That’s not too tall of an order.  Burnley absolutely bleed goals away from home, and it won’t help matters that Arsenal score the third most goals at home in the league (after Chelsea and United).  However, there is a glimmer of hope for the Clarets as the Gunners are a little short handed in missing the likes of Campbell and Gallas.  Add that to the fact that Burnley have already beat Manchester United as well as Everton earlier this season and you may have a potential upset.  But those two wins came at Turf Moor under Owen Coyle, and quite frankly, it is a virtual certainty that Arsenal stroll.

Arsenal 3 – 0 Burnley

WEST HAM v BOLTON

One of the best parts about the beginning of the end is watching the relegation dogfight; seeing players give life and

Carlton Cole

limb…especially against other relegation threatened teams.  This is such a case.  Places 13th – 18 are separated by only 4  points, and you can bet that every manager in those spots is telling his team they have every opportunity to stay alive.  West Ham sit atop of the mini relegation table, however that doesn’t mean much as Bolton are only one point back.  Expect a scrap (surprise, surprise…Bolton are playing) however, West Ham’s leaky defense could be exposed by Bolton’s hard nosed, physical attacking play.

West Ham 1 – 2 Bolton

MANCHESTER UNITED v WOLVES

Despite the fact that Wolves did recently dispose of Tottenham at home, it’s going to take a lot to convince me they can make anything of this game.  Especially after following that up with a loss to Bolton.  United could be without their mercurial talisman in Rooney, and now with Owen out, Berbatov with possibly Ji Sung Park for company.  Either way, it’ll be very tough for Wolves to make anything out of this game, especially given their inability to score goals away from home.  Expect them to park the bus in front of goal, looking to break on the counter.

Wolves 0 – 2 Manchester United



Russian Ace Calls for New Blood
August 23, 2009, 8:02 AM
Filed under: premier league | Tags: , ,

Andrey Arshavin believes Arsenal must raid the transfer market to add depth and quality to their squad.

The Russia forward has suggested Arsene Wenger’s current pool of players is too small, when compared to Arsenal’s trophy rivals.

Desperation etched into his face.

Desperation etched into his face.

And although Arshavin recognised Everton’s achievements of finishing fifth in the Barclays Premier League with a small squad last season, he claims Arsenal should not be looking to directly follow their example.

Arshavin told the Sunday Times: “We still have to buy. That’s my opinion.

“We shouldn’t set Everton as a benchmark, we should be looking at the top teams of Chelsea, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona.

“We should buy first-class players, regardless of their age. We should buy the ones who should improve our game. The top teams have much bigger squads than ours and that is why we have to buy.”

Analysis:  This should be raising a few red flags for Wenger and the Holdings.  Despite absolutely throttling a typically tough Toffee side, their key players are calling for reinforcements (Fabregas, Almunia, now Arshavin).  Odds are that Wenger doesn’t have all that much cash to spend, which is usually the case for the Frenchman.

Result:  He may well stick to his guns and hold out for his youth policy.  It doesn’t help matters that one of the stingier managers in the EPL is being forced to toy around in the most inflated market we’ve seen in years.  That aside, I expect Wenger to bring in one more addition – possibly a holding midfielder.