Arsenal vs Manchester City: What’s the best result for Arsenal?
I’m not sure what to make of the Arsenal vs Manchester City game this evening. This is a big game for many reasons, yet I’m struggling to get myself up for it in the same way i have obsessed about previous games this year.
After the Wigan fiasco Arsenal’s season is all but over. I’m gutted at how we have thrown away a great chance to win the premier league, and baring a minor miracle, we’re going to finish third regardless of today’s result. Win, lose or draw Arsenal are still going to finish third, so realistically we’re just playing for pride now.
So if the result wont affect our final league position, how can this be such an important game? Well the answer lies in who our opponents are, what their playing for and the return of several ex-Arsenal players.
Manchester City come to the Emirates battling for fourth spot with our bitter North London rivals Tottenham. The thought of Spurs playing in the champions league makes my skin crawl, so naturally part of me wants City to come fourth just so Tottenham don’t. Obviously as an Arsenal fan i want us to win every game we take part in, but City avoiding defeat today against Arsenal may go a long way to helping them beat Spurs to that all important champions league spot. Would i give up some points to help ensure Spurs don’t finish 4th given the fact that our league position is already determined? Perhaps.
However, the next problem is that i don’t want City to finish fourth either. I don’t agree with buying success via sugar-daddies, and would hate to see Adebayor playing champions league football again next year. Plus, if City come fourth they will have the draw of champions league football they need to lure the worlds best players to the City of Manchester Stadium, and will be a HUGE threat for the league title next term. Whereas, i could see Tottenham’s champions league adventure lasting only one season before they return to mid-table obscurity where they belong.
So it’s a case of who is the lesser of two evils? The Scum from the Lane or Adebayor’s money-bags City? It’s 50:50 for me so I think it’s best just to sit back and see what happens. Although, in the long run i actually think Tottenham finishing fourth would be better for Arsenal FC.
The next reason this is such a big game, is the return of Arsenal old-boys Vieira, Toure, (possibly) Silvinho and of course Adebarndoor.
Following the controversial 4-2 defeat at the City of Manchester Stadium earlier in the season, i think it’s safe to say we have a score to settle, especially with a certain lanky Togolese striker. Adebayor’s antics have ensured he will get a torrent of abusive today and he’s brought it on himself. His behaviour during that game was nothing short of disgraceful, and that was before his idiotic celebration in front of the away fans. As well as the despicable stamp on RVP’s face, he was guilty of several other dangerous tackles that were forgotten about due to the RVP incident. The sooner City get fed-up with him being off-side 20 times a match, or they get someone better, and he pisses off to Italy, Spain or outer Mongolia the better.
However, the reception for Toure and Vieira will be a completely different story, with both fully deserving the ‘welcome home’ applause they will get. Personally i cant wait to hear the Arsenal faithful sing ‘Vieira, woah-oh-oh…etc’, amazing chant. For a full preview of their return, click here.
Arsenal welcome back Alex Song to the squad following a knee complaint and is likely to replace Eastmond in the holding midfield role. Eduardo is also back in the squad after suffering a broken toe, but he is likely to start from the bench.
Andrey Arshavin, Cesc Fabregas, William Gallas, Thomas Vermaelen and Manuel Almunia are still out, along with long term injury victims Gibbs, Djourou and Ramsey.
Predicted Arsenal Starting XI:
Sagna Campbell Silvestre Clichy
This is the line-up i want to see start against Manchester City, but as you know Arsene likes to shake things up, so Eboue or possibly even Bendtner, may play instead of Walcott on the right. I see no reason Van Persie shouldn’t start, but Arsene may be overly-cautious with him after such a long lay-off and keep in on the bench.
The key to the game will be how our stand-in centre back pairing of Campbell and Silvestre handle Tevez and Adebayor. The pair have a wealth of experience between them, but I’m not sure that will be enough to contain the dangerous City front men.
However i fully expect Arsenal’s front trio of RVP, Walcott and Rosicky to cause plenty of problems to the City back line, so we could be in for another 6 goal thriller. Let’s hope the 4-2 result is reversed this time round! Or do we? I still can’t figure it out!
Would part of you be happy to see City win if it meant Tottenham missing out on fourth? Or would you rather Spurs than City made the top-four? Please leave your comments below….
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