Arsenal FC has a date with FC Barcelona on Wednesday 16 in the second round of the Champions League. A major challenge for a team that aspires to take the definitive step to achieve the dream of lifting the long-eared bat. This is the third time in five years that Arsenal and Barça roads converge: the first time was perhaps the hardest blow that ever brought the project Wenger as the club rallied them the final of the 2006 Champions Cup in Paris , the second time was last year when Londoners in the quarter fell victim to a stratospheric Messi put them four goals in the second leg .
But this year things are going Arsenal significantly better. Arsene Wenger in the summer ventured the hope that this year was the hatching of young people who has been preparing thoroughly for years and indeed it seems the team has gone one step further in his game. The Gunners are second in the Barclays Premier League, four points behind United, leading with 57, and four above the City-which also has one more game than the previous. In the league game this weekend, winning 2-0 to Wolves, both goals from Van Persie, recently recovered from injury.
Injuries have been a real headache for Wenger and the fans. The last to fall was Samir Nasri, with which there was not until the second leg, although according to his coach is not ruled out for this Wednesday. But the list of injuries the past two years is incredible, with Fabregas and Van Persie relapsing every now and long-term low as Aaron Ramsey who had transferred in January to Cardiff. And this year, nursing has not been able to have a rest day, a fact that Wenger has prevented his men have strong continuity.
Getting into a computer scan, there is no doubt that the defense is by far the weakest in the Arsenal line. Sagna and Clichy in the bands and Koscielny in the center, are the most common, whereas in the other post the minutes are very central shared between Djorou Squilacci and French-all except the last. The physical power of the rear gunner is inversely proportional to your mental strength, and may be having a quiet evening as, with little work, a single error can shake the entire group. One example is the amazing comeback that gave them a week ago at Newcastle, they managed to equalize in less than half an hour a match Wenger's boys dominated by four goals.
However, despite this feeling of weakness that passed between Champions League and only lost two games by more than one goal against Chelsea and Braga -2 to 0. Are as capable of winning 0-3 in the City field as to lose 2-3 at home against the Spurs or West Ham. Above are also no wonder to what English football is in fact suffering so many goals in the Premiership, but a priori it is not something that should worry a lot to deal with a team so short and slightly nodding as Barca.
The midfield is the key to Professor Wenger. The first piece is Song, the pivot that serves as a bodyguard for the quintet attacker. For the five positions of attack, the Frenchman has since last year to four favorites, being healthy, always play: Fabregas and Nasri in the middle and Arshavin and Van Persie up front. The fifth has been being conquered by the last pearl gunner, Jack Wilshere, who at the time is up midfield that has played more minutes in the Premiership and I'll dedicate a separate post.
So, Walcott still earn a spot as a permanent fixture, so that Nasri usually plays a little shot to the right so that Wilshere can join in the middle with Cesc. Wenger thus coupled to three gamers that will ensure many minutes of possession and control of the match. But the Strasbourg does not dismiss other variants and ICLSor is it being exploited very well the alternatives that employs staff: if you want to open the field takes one of three gamers and put Walcott on the right, which, with Arshavin on the other side as well widen the flank attack, giving the team more speed and provides a more vertical.
Up front could only have Van Persie to get home in ten league games, paradoxically, with two goals from this weekend has become the team's top scorer with ten goals, some very good numbers if we consider the few minutes of play. During the low periods of Dutch, manager of advance man replace him as has been the Moroccan Chamakh, who has scored 7 goals in 21 league games and 3 in 6 of Champions, a background that has served to cast doubt on Wenger Once Van Persie is back. Arshavin, but has not scored more than 5 goals in the Premiership this year is highlighting the section assists, totaling 11 so far this season, the Champions: 2 goals, 2 assists. Among the players who have lost camber in relation to the previous year to include Rosicky, who has come off the bench eleven times but has started only eight, and Bendtner, who has only played one match from the start.
Focusing on next Wednesday's game against Barca, Wenger's main concern is Nasri, although it may enter the call or even get to play minutes or alternate, his form is not adequate because you can not complete the necessary training after spending two weeks in dry dock. So in principle the eleven who will jump to the turf on Wednesday will be very similar to that played this weekend, with the exception of Sagna, which can not participate because they will meet punishment.
When two teams with so much quality and who like to have the ball I tend to think that the first goal is key, because either could destroy the other to just go missing than be forced to neglect their forward lines and rear. However, last year's playoff contradicts my theory: in the first leg at the Emirates put Barca 0-2, but Arsenal ended up tying four minutes left in the Camp Nou and the Gunners went ahead with a Bendtner both of which gave them the classification semis until Messi came on as Michael Jordan. In the end, the best thing you can do is let the theories and sit in good company to enjoy a playoff that for the second consecutive year, offers us the chance to see face to face two teams that best address the ball Europe. Whatever happens, which for sure will win viewers.
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