Saturday, August 16, 2008

Preview : Arsenal vs WBA [Let The War Begins!]

Last Five Results

Arsenal:

3rd August: Arsenal 1 Real Madrid 0
6th August: Huddersfield 1 Arsenal 2
8th August: Ajax 2 Arsenal 3
9th August: Sevilla 1 Arsenal 1
13th August: FC Twente 0 Arsenal 2


West Bromwich Albion:

29th July: Northampton 0 WBA 1
1st August: Hereford 1 WBA 2
2nd August: Swansea 0 WBA 0
5th August: Walsall 2 WBA 0
9th August: WBA 1 Real Mallorca 1

TEAM NEWS

Arsenal


Wenger is already faced with a number of injury problems. Tomas Rosicky (hamstring), Abou Diaby (thigh) and Eduardo da Silva (broken leg) will be sidelined for several weeks yet, while Cesc Fabregas (hamstring), Kolo Toure (hip), Philippe Senderos (hamstring) and Samir Nasri (knee) all missed Wednesday's Champions League victory. Another new signing, Amaury Bischoff, has a groin problem, while Alex Song is on Olympic Games duty.

However, Toure and Nasri are set to return for the Premier League opener against West Brom. "Kolo could be back in the squad," Wenger said on Thursday. "He is not completely 100 per cent at the moment. He is still recovering a bit from pre-season problems. But hopefully Nasri can be back in the squad."

Wenger revealed: "A reasonable target for Fabregas is the second leg of the Champions League game. Diaby will take four to six weeks and we don't know about Senderos yet.

With Fabregas and Diaby unavailable, youngsters Aaron Ramsey and Denilson could staet again in the central midfield berths.

West Bromwich Albion

Defender Abdoulaye Meite will make his debut for West Brom in place of Neil Clement (knee) following his transfer from Bolton Wanderers.

Albion are also without Luke Moore (thigh), Robert Koren (knee ligaments) and new signing Gianni Zuiverloon, who is in Beijing on Olympic duty.

PLAYERS TO WATCH


Arsenal

With summer signing from Marseile, Samir Nasri, in line to make his full Arsenal debut after recovering from thigh and knee niggles, much interest will be focused on a player Wenger believes can make an impact in Hleb's old role. Arsenal will be looking to him to create chances and add guile. Wenger has said he expects Nasri to fit smoothly into the Gunners' "collective game."

West Bromwich Albion

Jonathan Greening was the one Albion player to be on the field for every minute of their Championship winning season. And the ex Manchester United and Middlesbrough midfielder has grown in stature since being given more responsibility as Albion's captain. He was usually dictating the play last season, setting up plenty of goals, and it will be interesting to see whther he can be as effective back at the higher level.


Probable line-up’s: -

Arsenal (4-4-2): Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy; Eboue, Denilson, Ramsey, Walcott; Adebayor, Van Persie.

Albion (4-5-1): Carson; Hoefkens, Barnett, Meite, Robinson; Brunt, Kim, Morrison, Greening, Cech; Miller.

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