Cesc on the Sidelines for West Brom clash
Written by Shaun Wares
Today sees Arsenal in their first league game without midfield maestro Cesc Fabregas. He has been the Gunner’s puppet master this season, pulling all the strings in an excellent start to the season. The Gunners have definitely been firing on all cylinders, but without Cesc as the driving force behind the team, will they be found wanting in the middle of the pitch?
If Manchester City can overcome Chelsea today, it could be a key result for Arsenal, and they could not have asked for a better opportunity to tighten the screw and increase the pressure on the Blues.
They are up against the archetypal yo-yo club, West Brom, who have struggled to maintain their Premier League status over the last few seasons. Their close-season acquisitions have been poor as always, and their bargain basment collection of players will find it tough to keep the Gunners at bay.
Today’s game will be an excellent chance for the Gunners to get used to life without Fabregas, a prospect already staring them in the face. This season will probably be his last at the Emirates, and he will be sorely missed. He brings composure and control to what can often be a fierce, physical midefield battle week-in, week-out in the Premier League. He is the perfect complement to Arsenal’s dangerous front men, and often provides the key ball in most goalscoring moves for the Gunners. Arshavin and Chamakh will be expected to continue their excellent early season scoring form, but will not have the service to which they have become accustomed to.
I predict an Arsenal victory today, but then again, who wouldn’t? Even the most ardent West Brom supporter would admit that they are up against a massive challenge today, but may well see their best opportunity to record a result in the absence of the jewell in the Arsenal crown. Wenger will be mindful of upcoming Champions League fixtures and the match against Chelsea next month, but today provides him with a great opportunity to see how his charges fare without Fabregas steering the ship.
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