It’s a very significant League game. Not because we will automatically become title contenders again if we win or drop into the relegation zone if we lose, but it’s a chance to show that we have learnt from the mistakes of our previous mistakes to Swansea and United – and that we will be in good mood to host high flying Southampton on Wednesday, who could drop points this weekend against City.
- Revise the Dortmund Template
The pressure was on the lads to show their maturity against Dortmund and played a very balanced game, defending sensibly and calmly after going ahead early on. That should be the new template for our play coming back to the League, especially as the ‘conservative’ approach did not in anyway limit us going forward. Seeing that most teams prefer to force us to play the ball, we might as well hold the ball in our comfort, waiting for them to come out. With Alexis, we will enjoy the brilliance of individuality, and Giroud’s return should be an added strength to give us more firepower.
Probably disappointed not to have got a chance to make his International debut despite earning his first call last, Berahino will want to prove he will still be in the reckoning between now and March when next Roy Hodgson will be naming a squad for International duty. Berahino’s one and only goal against Arsenal came last season in the League One Cup at the Hawthorns but 6 league goals this term has seen him bear the brunt of the goal-scoring demands for Alan Irvine’s men and he will certainly need to be checked as he will still be the main threat from the Baggies.
- Ramsey must help Flamini
Having lost Arteta who clearly reads a game better than Flamini, Wenger will need an extra man to play off the Frenchman to help in distributing from deep. It doesn’t look like he will ever give up his hunger to go forward and join the attack and that is certainly not a thing to decry as we need as many scorers as possible in the team. He says he is now getting back to his best physically, suggesting that he could always return to the deeper positions after joining in the attack. He will need to that to good effect on Saturday afternoon as breaking down Albion will rely much on we having more presence in the middle of the park.
- Cazorla central, Alexis Wide
Against Dortmund, Santi was used in his preferred central role and flourished, while Alexis was more than a great help to Kieran Gibbs on the left. It is a shape which we should be looking to keep. Santi doesn’t have the physicality to prosper on the wings whereas his rediscovered trickery is always capable of livening things up in the center.
- Two goal first half cushion?
We aniticipated it against Dortmund and Sanogo’s 73rd minute opener was enough to be the winner. An away atmosphere will make it a bit tougher to be relaxed enough to keep a one-goal advantage and so taking a two-goal advantage into the break could do us well, provided we return with maximum focus after the interval to preserve it to the 90 and beyond.
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