Oddly, it doesn’t look as though there’s a press conference happening today and I think I read somewhere that the press conference was the one that took place immediately after the Wednesday game at Southampton. It’ll be slightly odd to do it that way but given that the team will have travelled back on Wednesday night, had yesterday off and will probably be travelling today, I guess it’s understandable.
What we’ll most likely get instead will be an update from Arsène over who is available for the trip to Mordor to face the unsavouries. The hope has to be that some of the walking wounded from midweek have recovered sufficiently enough. Stoke may not be the overly physical side of the Pulis era but they still have evil amongst their ranks and if Charlie Adam makes his way on to the field then expect a few ankles, shins or necks to come under a bit of pressure from him.
The question marks will probably be over a few players. The Ox will most certainly be out I’d imagine and it’ll be a chance for Bellerin to show his stuff before the cup final. The injury to Koscielny will also need to be considered and whether he’s fully fit or not for tomorrow, I do wonder if Arsène will risk it, especially after the decent performance of the back three against the Saints. Overall fitness concerns will probably be over Xhaka and Welbeck, both of whom I suspect the manager has been managing carefully, because Xhaka has been playing with some knocks and this is certainly the most football we’ve seen from Welbeck for a couple of seasons. Whether his body can sustain another start in a week remains to be seen and whilst he would be the best option right now, it wouldn’t surprise me for Arsène to talk up the qualities of Olivier Giroud on the official site as any kind of team news gets updated today.
As for the impending game itself, what’s really surprised me is how many people seem to be chalking this up as an Arsenal victory. I’ve seen plenty of pundits talking about how Stoke have nothing to play for and as a result this should be an easier task for Arsenal. It’s almost as if they don’t know how much that Stoke team lifts itself for us, because of their faux outrage of one of their thugs having the misfortune of being punished for smashing Ramsey’s leg in to bits, or something. Nope, on Saturday evening Stoke will go hell for leather as if this was a cup final game. They’ll be all out to maintain their fantastic record against us and there’s no way we’ll be given the freedom of the Brittania that teams like the Totts seem to get when they show up. I’m expecting this to be a bloody difficult game and I’d expect most of you Gooners out there are expecting the same too.
The hope is that the team is starting to build momentum. I still maintain that the hopes of top four will be done and dusted come Sunday afternoon when Liverpool beat West Ham, so for me tomorrow is about getting another win in prep for the cup final.
That’s where everyone’s eyes should be focused now. It should be about the players continuing to try to find a solution in this formation and then coming up against a Chelski side ready to cause us plenty of headaches. Everything else will take a back seat and that top four spot will be irrelevant soon. We need to find a way to be better going forward and that only comes with more games in this formation.
Anyway, that’s yer lot from me today, because I ain’t got owt else to talk about.
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