It’s been a busy week for the team what with the demands of television and Europe but so far we have come out of it quite well. An ‘easy’ win against a shockingly poor Aston Villa side and a tricky if slightly undeserved victory over RSC Anderlecht on Thursday night at the Lane but now the sternest test. That lot from down the road.
You could argue that this is the best time to play them as they have an injury list nightmares are made of and they looked dreadful against Bayern on Wednesday night. That 5-1 scoreline was kind to them in all honesty but you cannot expect them to roll over and die like they did in Germany. The injury to Bellerin will hurt them and with Koscielny possibly missing as well they must be concerned
No Oxlade Chamberlain, Welbeck, Rosicky, Ramsey or Walcott leaves them short of options but it will not be easy for any team as they still have some quality. But what effect will that 5-1 have had?. They could be really deflated or they could be like a wounded animal and that is dangerous.
We will need to be at our best and despite having won the last three games the warning signs were there in all three games. Conceding early against Bournemouth shows that we still take a while to get going. This was also evident in the Anderlecht game as a number of chances came too easily to the Belgians early on.
We cannot afford to switch off at any stage. Look what Villa threatened to do as we switched off and allowed possibly the worst team I have ever seen at the Lane to get back at us. We nearly handed the game back to a team that looked clueless and if we had we could have had no-one else to blame. Fortunately that spell only lasted ten minutes before we took control again but give an Arsenal team that opportunity and it will be more difficult to re-assume command.
And then against Anderlecht, a slow start was weathered but a slow start in the second half resulted in a lively Anderlecht side gaining control and equalising. It was only at the end we looked the more dangerous side and Dembele’s strike was the difference between the two sides. It’s nice to see that we are capable of scoring goals from elsewhere than Harry Kane because until recently goals were looking hard to come by. Happily he seems to have remembered where the net is having scored in all of the last three matches and that strikers instinct may be crucial tomorrow.
With the return of Son and goals coming from the likes of Deli Alli and Dembele we look like a team that will improve but a deflated Arsenal are still a real danger despite that long treatment list. I think it will be a close game and a single goal may separate the teams. Let’s hope it’s not a defensive lapse on our part that allows that to happen against us.
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