Writer: Paul Wallis
Date:Saturday February 20 2010
BEHIND ENEMY LINES - PART 11
BACK TO THE GRIND
Well, after a weeks break, it's back to the grind of the relegation scrap. Nice easy one to resume...Arsenal at the Emirates! Yes, that was meant as sarcasm, but incredibly, we are unbeaten in three games against the Gunners. A draw and a win at home sandwiching a point last season in North London. But that does not count for much going in to Saturday. Arsenal will be looking to continue an unlikely challenge for the title and for that to happen this is a vital three points. Everything went against them in midweek at Porto, which may also count against us. Arsene Wenger is struggling with injuries and the likes of Almunia, Arshavin, Eduardo & Song are all doubts. The same story applies for Steve Bruce with plenty of injury & suspension worries. If its not the defence being disrupted its midfield. Cattermole, Meyler, Henderson & Reid are all unavailable giving chances to the likes of Richardson & Campbell. It'll be interesting to see whether Bruce sticks with 4-4-2 or plays with 1 up front and keep it tight. From his pre match interviews I feel he'll go with Bent & Jones up top. The lack of fight in midfield is a worry, so Lorik Cana will have to be at the top of his game. Even though last season we got a totally unexpected draw at the Emirates, I think our luck over Arsenal will run out and we'll slip to defeat.
Prediction: Arsenal 2 SAFC 1
KEY RUN FOR RICHARDSON
Big day tomorrow for SAFC enigma, Keiran Richardson, who should get his chance due to shortage of options in midfield. I have been very disappointed in Richardson towards the end of last season and beginning of this. Maybe he's still living off his derby day free kick, but his performance levels have dipped dramatically. Yes, injury problems have continued to blight his career at the SoL and maybe we are being overly harsh on him but in the games I've seen him play his performance has been poor. I feel Keiran has a lot to offer to the Premier League and I really hope he grabs his chance at Arsenal.
In preview to Saturday, remember this? An incredible game which had everything at the Emirates.
ARSENAL 3 SAFC 2 (October 2007)
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna (Eboue 68), Toure, Senderos, Clichy, Hleb, Fabregas, Flamini, Diaby (Walcott 57), Adebayor, Van Persie (Silva 85).
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Bendtner. Goals: Van Persie 7, 80, Senderos 14
Sunderland: Gordon, McShane, Nosworthy, Higginbotham, Collins, Leadbitter, Miller, Wallace (Etuhu 77), Yorke (Harte 90), Chopra (Stokes 77), Jones.
Subs Not Used: Ward, O'Donovan. Goals: Wallace 25, Jones 48
BET OF THE WEEKEND
Finally, this weeks tip. Man Utd, Sheff Utd & Blackburn treble. Pays about 7/1
That's all for now,
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Date:Saturday February 20 2010
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