Eight consecutive victories have put Arsenal on course to not only secure a top four finish and Champions League football for the eighteenth consecutive season under Arsene Wenger, but also finish runners-up to Chelsea in the Premier League. An FA Cup Final at Wembley against Aston Villa may be the icing on the cake for the Gunners who have been in imperious form, playing the wonderful free-flowing football that makes them one of the best teams in Europe. Wenger will point to a collective team effort for Arsenal enjoying an excellent campaign, but there can be no doubt that Alexis Sanchez has been a revelation in his first season at the club and been the main reason behind the club’s success. The Chilean star has been in fantastic form all season, with Sanchez not only deservedly nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award, but also included in Bookies.com team of the season and many other Premier League XIs. Eden Hazard may be the only player that stands towards Sanchez and a crowning achievement to wrap up a superb season for the former Barcelona man; it promises to be a close call between two players who have been instrumental in leading their respective team to glory.
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He may not have done any actual managerial work since retiring from playing football, but the former Arsenal and Scotland international striker Charlie Nicholas does work as a TV pundit and football journalist so he should have a good grasp of tactics and knowledge of the clubs he talks about in the Premier League.
Arsene Wenger has been faced with a couple of key decisions as he prepared his Arsenal team for a massive game in the fight for the top four and to keep alive our fading hopes of a Premier League title this season.
Assuming that Danny Welbeck is available after the knee injury that saw him sent home early from England international duty turned out to be not as bad as first feared, the Gunners will start with him on one sdie and Alexis Sanchez on the other side of Olivier Giroud in a forward three.
It will have been pretty easy for Arsene Wenger to prepare his Arsenal team for today’s Premier League away game against Newcastle United, as their manager John Carver admitted this week that he only had 13 fit outfield players to choose from.
So the Arsenal boss does not have to worry too much about which players or system his Gunners will have to contend with today ,and he should be able to set his own team up accordingly in order to exploit the home team´s problems. This game is the last before the international break but I still think the Boss will use it to rest a few key players, like Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and perhaps Mertesacker, Monreal and Bellerin.
Following a very impressive display against Monaco in the Champions League, Arsenal will travel to St. James’ Park to face Newcastle United as the Gunners shift their attention back to the Premier League. Considering the rich vein of form that Arsene Wenger’s side are currently in, there cannot be any debate over the fact that Arsenal are most certainly overwhelming favourites in the fixture.
According to latest reports, the Newcastle manager John Carver has confirmed via the club’s official twitter account that he’s got just 13 fit outfield players to choose from when high-flying Arsenal come to visit and also added that he will not be using youth team players just to fill up the gaps in the squad.
Arsenal may have left a mountain to climb after losing at the Emirates stadium to Monaco by 3-1 at the end of February. In fact the Gunners must pull off something that has never been done before in the Champions League if we are to achieve a remarkable comeback and stay in the competition.
So we know it is not going to be easy but there are a few reasons for the travelling Arsenal fans to believe that the team just might do it.
Arsene Wenger has been speaking about how Arsenal would approach this massive FA cup game away to Man United. The manager has played down our poor recent record against them and the fact that we have not won at Old Trafford and suggested that his players will be sent out with their usual intention to dominate possession and try to score.
I hope so because apart from that Man City game, we just don’t seem to get it right when we try to be cautious. Hopefully Aaron Ramsey will be fit enough to start because having him alongside young Coquelin in the middle will give us extra solidity and defensive strength, allowing the likes of Alexis and Cazorla to do what they do best.
It is getting down to the nitty-gritty for Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal players now. The Gunners may not have a realistic chance of the title but we are very much involved in a real Premier League tussle. With an FA cup trophy to defend and a poor home result to overturn in the Champions League as well, the manager knows he must rotate his squad while still fielding a team that will do the job for Arsenal.
Despite the Arsenal and Chile striker Alexis Sanchez being desperate to start his first north London derby today, after only featuring for the last 25 minutes of the game at the Emirates in September, this game will be a bit too soon for Arsene Wenger to risk him after his hamstring injury.
The Frenchman might have to tie his star player up though and he may well be on the bench, but although the games against Tottenham are always important and this one could see either team finish higher in the Premier League table than the other, Wenger must make sure that Sanchez does not aggravate his injury.
The Arsenal boss all of a sudden has a different sort of problem on his hands, but it is the sort of problem he would have loved to be struggling with all season, tough decisions about which players from a strong squad to put in the starting line-up.
With Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs and Calum Chambers all back in contention, Arsene Wenger has some big calls today and one of the biggest is on our club record signing. In another game I think the boss would have brought our German midfielder back in, but away to Man City is too big a game to risk a rusty Ozil, especially when the players he might replace are doing so well.