I hope the planets aren’t seemingly aligning for us to give us a false sense of security. 

What I mean by that is three fold:

Hull City’s hectic fixture scheduling

Steve Bruce has already admitted he’s going to have to rotate his squad for those players who haven’t played much recently. He’s bidding for a return to the Premier League and given that Hull are top, I can understand why, especially when they have a game on Tuesday and Friday next week. There really is no rest for the wicked in the Championship it seems. For us that means Arsène knows he can also rotate his squad, although he’s hinted at a strong team, but I suspect that we’ll see plenty of rotation, at least I hope so.

United’s injury setbacks appear to keep coming

Yesterday evening it was David De Gea who was injured in the warm up against against FC Middle Earth. Louis van Gaal was quick to point out that it wasn’t his stomach, as it looked like in the videos I saw, but his knee. With just over a week until we play United, that loss of a player who has saved them so many times could be significant.

Arsenal’s injury worries don’t appear as bad. Yet.

We’ve heard from Arsène yesterday evening on the team news and players recently injured. There were rumours that Gabriel would be out for a month, but Arsène said yesterday he was out and running again, so hopefully the R&R he’s had in Brazil has done him the world of good. Koscienly won’t be available for Saturday, but all the mud outings appear to be that he’ll return to the team to face Barca, so that’s good news.

So what I mean when I say that I hope the fates aren’t falsely aligning for us, is that everything seems to be looking favourable for our fixtures in the immediate future, but usually that means life doesn’t play out as you’d expect. For example, you’d think that a home tie against a Hull City ‘B’ team should be comfortable. But who knows what could happen. They could score with their only shot of the game whilst we have 72 on their goal and find out that they have a ‘keeper who’s doing his best Gandalf “YOU. SHALL. NOT. PASS!” impression. It’s not like that hasn’t happened in the last few games at the Emirates, is it?

Alternatively, the following week, we could line up against a United team devoid of all of its stand out stars, yet still they manage to muster the games of their lives to once again leave our title chances hanging by a thread. You see, I’m still damaged by that Neil Mellor goal in the 90th minute at Anfield, where a virtually unknown led the line for the scousers and scored a winner. He promptly then disappeared from Liverpool and saw out his days in the lower leagues. But that day Arsenal should have battered Liverpool. They had no first team strikers to call on. They had injuries and we were at full strength. I think because of that very game, I’ll never truly be comfortable any time we play an injury-ravaged team, regardless of who they are and how they’re playing.

But at least the final point on my list above is one in which I can feel more comfortable that the fates won’t conspire against us too much with. Koscienly and Gabriel are both getting fit and hopefully Arsène can rotate in the centre of that defence over the next week, because I think Gabriel was on the cusp of establishing himself as a first teamer. If he can be back for United, that would be a huge boost for us, so let’s hope both he and Kos are good to play within the next few days.

So, can we take advantage of the supposed boosts we’re getting, starting against Hull tomorrow lunchtime? 

We’ll soon find out.

Catch you tomorrow.