There is really only one thing we could be expected to be happy with on Boxing Day – besides what we get in our boxes from family and friends – three points against QPR.
The Rangers have not boxed a single point on their travels this season but have built some momentum from their past few home games, Charlie Austin giving everyone reason to believe Rickie Lambert is overrated. ‘Arry is not exactly a bogey man for Wenger, even while he was a Spurs but he surely has the copybook that many teams have used to break us down this season.
So how does Wenger skip this potential slipper?
Cazorla-Alexis-Giroud… The Triangle
There is too much to moan about the Arsenal at the moment but the attack have certainly been the silver lining, and as against Newcastle, we’ll need these three to be at the center of any expected good results. Santi has scored three and assisted two in his last 5 games in the League, while Alexis can claim to have been the chief architect of Debuchy’s goal at Anfield, the third in two games. Where Welbeck has struggled to convince, Giroud has simply come in and gone about his normal business, with 5 League goals now scored in just 4 starts. His substitution at Anfield may have cost us in defending the lead but it will be his aerial prowess at the QPR end that will be our main focus of exploitation.
Any pocket for Charlie Austin?
Perhaps something went with the Nike designs, as none of our defenders seem to have enough to keep strikers quiet this season. Wenger is wary of Austin’s strengths and would want his vice captain to do more than shirk from the combat; Charlie will be bringing one, trust.
Full backs on Hoilett
No Calum Chambers. Check.
The youngster has not had it easy with nifty-footed players running at him on the right and it would be another torrid tussle were he to start at right back. Wenger will choose Monreal at center-half, with Debuchy to return to his main role. He may be not as quick as Chambers and that will need him to bring his reading of the game into holding off the pacy Junior Hoilett. Gibbs should have enough to match him for yards.
Flamini, stay clear of Barton
A potential bust-up, if they clash and you could maybe sanction it for the comments made about Sanchez. But we cannot afford to lose any more midfielders, even if there is no proof that Coquelin won’t do a better job.
We can score, and we should
1995. The last time we managed to score more than once against QPR. This is a team that has scored 10 in the last 3 games and should not have problems scoring. We won’t get into the top four even if we scored a ton, but a free-scoring side is always a threat to upcoming opponents. West Ham, Next.
Follow oohtobeagooner on Facebook
for more latest Arsenal transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours.