Arsenal vs Cardiff Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man & Predicted Score
Arsenal play host to Cardiff City at the Emirates Stadium on New Year’s Day looking to cement their place at the top of the Premier League. Here’s a preview.
Arsenal play host to Cardiff City at the Emirates Stadium on New Year’s Day looking to cement their place at the top of the Premier League.
The Gunners head into the game sitting one point clear of Manchester City and will hope to at least maintain that advantage with all three points tomorrow.
Arsene Wenger’s men moved back to the top with a narrow 1-0 win over Newcastle United on Sunday with Olivier Giroud ending his goal-scoring drought to head home a second half winner.
The north Londoners will face a Cardiff side without a full-time manager following the sacking of Malky Mackay last week and they arrive at the Emirates with just one win from their last six games leaving them hovering just above the relegation zone.
The Welsh outfit have only won just one game on the road all season – a 2-1 win over Fulham in September – so Arsenal will be red-hot favourites to secure the three points on Wednesday.
Arsene Wenger has a lengthy injury list to contend with for the game with up to 12 senior players potentially being unavailable.
Olivier Giroud has been ruled out with an ankle injury while Kieran Gibbs is also out with a calf strain. The duo join Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil on the sidelines after they were ruled out for up to three weeks with thigh and shoulder injuries respectively.
Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott are also facing late fitness tests after collecting knocks against Newcastle, while defenders Nacho Monreal and Thomas Vermaelen are still rated as doubtful with the illness that saw them miss the trip to the North East.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a week from returning from a knee injury, but Yaya Sanogo and Abou Diaby are still some way from fitness.
With so many injuries, Nicklas Bendtner is likely to start up front while Lukas Podolski could also make his first start in over four months.
Cardiff will be without veteran attacker Craig Bellamy for the trip to the capital with the Welshman struggling with a knee injury.
Defender Andrew Taylor is also out so Declan John will continue to fill-in at left-back. Peter Odemwingie and Aron Gunnarson are pushing for recalls.
Santi Cazorla: The Spaniard was excellent at Upton Park last week but disappointed against Newcastle last time out. With the likes of Ozil out injured, Arsenal will be looking to Cazorla to fill the creative void.
Arsenal 3-0 Cardiff: Despite a lengthy injury list the Gunners are still able to field a strong side and we can see them easing past Cardiff at home.
What team would you like to see start the game? What’s your score prediction? Share your views below.
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