Arsenal-Liverpool: More First Leg Champions League Thoughts

Ashish WesleySenior Analyst IApril 1, 2008

So whats the mood in the camp?

Everyone all set for the "Liverpool trilogy" as they are calling it now. It's almost a given that this tie will be probably most important for both sides. This especially in the light that it's realistically now both teams only chance of silverware this term. Liverpool are languishing in fourth while we are six points off the pace in the Premiership.

I would expect a high octane affair at the Grove tomorrow. Maybe we will be a bit more adventurous, but quite obviously, aren't we always circumstance independent?

It would be important that we set the tone for the remaining games against the Kop by putting on a commanding display. That would be half the job done, you would feel, going in to the next two encounters.

Do I even have to say that we need to keep a close eye out for Gerrard and Torres and the keen partnership they have forged? Also, Babel looks dangerous too... sigh, I wish he was a Gunner.

Adebayor should be restored to his starting position partnered by RVP tomorrow, and they represent the first choice pairing for us up top. There is a little poll running that asks whether Wenger would be right in starting Adebayor against Liverpool or not. Stop by if you wish to air your views on this.

Steven Gerrard, as you all know, is one player with a heck of a lot of character and skills to boot. He is one of the non-Arsenal players who I truly admire, a real firecracker on his day, as Milan will bear witness. Gerrard reckons that Liverpool have put enough distance between themselves and Everton and can now concentrate on the Champions League, saying:

"For the time being the pressure is off because we have got the five-point gap, but we have a lot of hard games to come.

"Although we are going to put all our focus on the Champions League, for the league game in between the two matches we still have to put in a big performance and try to keep the gap of five, if not improve it."

Hmmm... maybe we are in a for a bigger battle than previously thought. Liverpool are quite a more formidable outfit in Europe, but who cares? We have looked the best side in Europe and we can beat anyone. That's not an idle threat, believe you me! Toure looks like he's up for it tomorrow saying that Liverpool are scared of us:

"It is going to be really tight, we know that, but we have the quality and I think they will be scared to play against us."

There's more from Toure in this piece here.

Cesc Fabregas, who you imagine will have to be in some sublime form over the next couple of weeks, prefers European opposition to English opposition. So would I. Somehow it takes the edge off the CL nights, but anyhow. Cescy said:

"I would have preferred to play a European team. To play in the Champions League against the same players that you play every week and see on the television, well, I would have preferred Barcelona, Madrid, an Italian team."

Cesc is reportedly being offered a deal that will keep him at Ashburton Grove for the next six years and wages to the tune of 100,000 quid a week. More on this when confirmation is received.

Frankly, after that whole Darren Dein thing that broke earlier, this bit of news is like balm. Also, we look all set to bring the Feyenoord youngster De Guzman to North London. More on this here.

Dudu's recovery looks to be on course as the club released a statement on his progress. That's here.

And Mad Jens gets the thumbs up from his national team coach. So maybe Jens will not wag his finger at him or refrain from punching him too hard at practice the next time. Heck, I said maybe.

And thats all I could dig up for you lot. More tomorrow.

Before I run along I will tell you that the Liverpool clash at Ashburton is at 19.45 UK time and 01.15 India time tomorrow. Coverage is live on Ten Sports in India. The pre-game is at 23.30 India time, but you don't want to watch that.

Tt's just Manky Shite supporting shite, talking ... well shite.

Till tomorrow then.