A certain air of dread is very evident in the Gooner camp right now. We have to play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge whilst missing: Robin van Persie, Vermaelen, Fabregas, Gibbs, Bendtner, Almunia and Walcott. A big list of names you would definitely want to see starting.
This is where most of the apprehension is coming from. It's what we don't have, rather than what we do. How about we look at our options for this game.
We have a new defence. Drogba may have beaten Arsenal's defences time and time again. But he has yet to even get a look in against this one. Statistics count for little and it may be the time that Drogba is left wanting.
We have bite in midfield. If I was to name the two midfielders with the most grit and determination, I would say Nasri and Wilshere. Neither is injured. Both are in great form. Both have an awful lot to prove and both are more than capable of doing so. We also have Song. Song will do nothing but defend against Chelsea. It's amazing, to me, that people are worried about him strolling forward in attack. Is it not conceivable that he'll play differently against an obscure European team to Chelsea? With Song in front of the back line, our defence is a much stronger outfit.
Also, Arsharvin. He's known for going missing in games and his current form isn't rated too highly right now. In his current poor form he has provided 5 goals and 5 assists. Against Partizan Belgrade he seemed to find form again, and I expect to see it on Sunday.
A striker. The biggest ingredient is that this year we have a striker. With a man like Chamakh, our midfield will sit further back and provide more defensive cover. We were caught on the counter because our midfielders had to be so far up the field. We also had Gallas and Vermaelen playing. They like to go forward. Squillaci and Koscielny sit much closer to goal and it has shown this season.
I'm not predicting an Arsenal win. I'm saying that the ingredients are there for Arsenal to not only scrape a win, but do so convincingly.
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