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Marked to replace legendary goalkeeper David Seaman, Wright’s transfer was an epic failure. In July 2001, Wright joined Arsenal from Ipswich Town for £6 million, a significant sum for a goalkeeper at the time. Seaman’s injury rapidly saw Wright starting, but he turned out to be disappointing: notably, his own goal during a match against Charlton Athletic. Following an injury during a Champions League match against La Coruna, he was replaced by the young Stuart Taylor, who quickly 

Match preview

One of the tightest contested games in the Premier League’s history surfaces once more on Wednesday night as Liverpool host Arsenal at Anfield. Both clubs are steeped in history with the home side still coveting a first Premier League trophy. Arsenal have won the Premier League on three occasions. Liverpool are famed for their teams of old that conquered both Europe and England, lifting a record 18 first division titles. Here we have our full preview.

Liverpool enter the game in bad shape with a whole host of injuries to their first team squad. The reds were reduced to a barely recognisable squad against Exeter City in Friday night’s FA Cup game. Christian Benteke and Jose Enrique were Liverpool’s only established senior players, the latter has not been a key figure for the reds in well over 18 months however. Klopp did have Adam Lallana and Lucas on the substitutes bench but put his faith in his youth, you could argue it didn’t pay off with Liverpool now facing a replay, a game that could be deemed unnecessary for Liverpool. Liverpool are facing a difficult period of fixtures with 5 games in 15 days, a schedule which Klopp has already stated his disapproval. I do sympathise a little with the reds manager as there was no way his side should have been made to play a Tuesday night and Friday night cup game. There has been little recovery time for his already fragile squad with Jordon Ibe the latest casualty. Liverpool I am sure would be happy to come away with a draw and no further injuries. The injury woes have forced Klopp to recall youngster Seyi Ojo from his loan spell with Wolverhampton Wanderers. As many as 13 Liverpool senior players could not be deemed fit to start this weekend. With such a threadbare squad Klopp will be forced to use some of his less experienced players and hope they step up to the plate. Friday was a potential banana skin for Liverpool which they were lucky to come away from with a draw. This game here is a much tougher task and I fear that they will be outclassed by a confident Arsenal team.

Arsenal triumphed in the FA Cup on Saturday with a 3-1 victory against Premier League strugglers Sunderland. Despite an early Sunderland goal putting the Gunners behind Wenger’s side persevered to a comfortable victory. Joel Campbell put Arsenal back on level terms at half time, by this point the momentum was with Arsenal. It took until 72 minutes before Arsenal substitute Aaron Ramsey broke the deadlock, having only been on the field for 5 minutes. Olivier Giroud wrapped the game up 4 minutes later and sealed Arsenal’s progression to the 4th round of the tournament. Regarding Arsenal’s Premier League form they could not ask for much more. The North Londoners are two points clear at the top of the table and are on course for a first Premier League title in 12 years. Mesut Ozil is the name on every Arsenal fan's lips having assisted 16 goals in 18 games played. Ozil’s knack for picking a pass has gained him global recognition and he is a sure candidate for the PFA Player of the season next time around. Arsenal generally perform better at The Emirates stadium having only won 2 of their last 5 away fixtures. Their last away game ended in a dismal 4-0 defeat against Southampton in a night to forget for the league leaders. Olivier Giroud who was on target in Arsenal’s weekend FA Cup tie is Arsenal’s most potent striker this term. The France international has his critics but you can’t fault his record, scoring 10 goals and providing 2 assists already this season.

Team News

Arsenal - Santi Cazorla (knee), Francis Coquelin (knee), Tomas Rosicky (knee), Alexis Sanchez (hamstring), Danny Welbeck (knee) and Jack Wilshere (knee) give the Arsenal physio team plenty of man hours. They will all be unavailable this weekend.

Liverpool - If you thought Arsenal’s injury troubles were bad then you obviously haven’t seen Liverpools. The merseysiders are without a host of first teamers, a bulk of which are hamstring and lower body injuries. Philippe Coutinho (hamstring), John Flanagan (lack of match fitness), Joseph Gomez (knee), Danny Ings (knee), Dejan Lovren (hamstring), Divock Origi (hamstring), Jordan Rossiter (hamstring), and Martin Skrtel (hamstring) will not feature for the reds. As well as that Daniel Sturridge (hamstring), Mamaddou Sakho (knee), Kolo Toure (knock), Jordan Ibe (hamstring), and Jordan Henderson (heel) are major doubts for Liverpool.

Betting Predictions

Arsenal win 11/8
Arsenal or draw 21/50
Giroud to score anytime 23/20

Check out the rest of our Premier League predictions and tips here

 

Despite some impressive results against German giants Bayern Munich, fans would have been relieved to have finally drawn a different opponent, if only their next Champions League rival didn’t happen to be treble winners FC Barcelona.

Arsenal have faced the Catalonians seven times in the competition, winning just once, and fans will still remember the 2006 where Arsene Wenger’s side lost 2-1 to Frank Rijkaard’s outfit in the Stade de France.

While many are quick to dispel any notion that Arsenal can emerge victorious from the two encounters, and many punters would rather put their money on something as ridiculous as eSports, the Gunners are not out the running yet, as the old cliché goes, a lot can happen in 90 minutes, and even more could happen over 180.

Only Manchester United have conceded less goals in the Premier League, and Arsenal’s back four has, despite injuries, performed admirably so far this season. After a shaky start to their Champions League campaign, losing away to Dinamo Zagreb the Gunners won three games and finished 2nd on goal difference, registering an impressive home win against Bayern Munich.

With injured stars returning to the side and Mesut Ozil in fine form the Gunners have displayed a level of consistency this season that fans have been long awaiting.
Arsenal have yet to claim a Champions League trophy, and toppling the holders would be the perfect way to keep the dream alive.

Barcelona will not be easy, while a home win is likely, considering how Arsenal performed there against Bayern Munich. However, the Camp Nou will be a daunting place to play. Many expected the Catalans to struggle this season, considering their injury list and triumphs last season, but it has not been the case.

With an absent Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez have stepped up, terrorising European and domestic defences alike, and the Argentinean is back on the team sheet, meaning Mertesacker and Koscielny will have to keep out what is arguably the most menacing strike force in football.

 

 

 

The draw for the Champions League round of 16 has been decided and Arsenal will have the honour of facing reigning champions Barcelona the team's next match. The Gunners narrowly escaped having to deal with Bayern Munich during the group stage, but it's just Arsene Wenger's luck that they're going up against the other dominant squad in the tournament in order to advance. The team will have their work cut out for them if they hopes to survive the knockout round, though there are definitely some bright points on the horizon.

Thankfully, the next round of games won't begin until February 2016, at which point Arsenal's squad will be bolstered by the return of many players who have been sidelined with various injuries during the first half of the season. This includes former Barcelona striker Alexis Sanchez, who will go up against his former team after finding greener pastures in the Premier League.

Sanchez is due to return in time for Arsenal's holiday match against Manchester City. Also, forward Danny Welbeck and midfielders Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin and Tomas Rosicky are all due back by February 2016. Considering how well Arsenal has managed to perform without some of their arguably most important players, we can only imagine how much better the team will be once they return. This could provide the best opportunity for the team to beat Barcelona, whom Arsenal have been forced to face three times in the last five years. The two teams also met in the heart-stopping 2006 Champions League final that saw the Gunners fall to the Blaugrana, 2-1.

Barcelona will surely present the toughest challenge for the Gunners this season. With the front line of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar firing on all cylinders, it will take an incredible performance from Arsenal to emerge victorious. The attacking half of Barcelona is one of the most lethal in football with Messi being given 5/6 odds to score in any given match and Neymar priced at 11/8 to score in his own right. When you toss in a ridiculous Suarez who has already scored five goals in this year's tournament, you have a recipe for one of the most devastating attacks in football.

Arsenal have been knocked out of the round of 16 for the last six years, and they'll be doing all they can to avoid a repeat of the same fate. However, with Olivier Giroud playing like a man possessed and a slew of healthy players adding some desperately needed depth, this is probably Arsenal's best chance to escape the knock-out round. If Barcelona has an off night and Arsenal can continue to perform at their current level, anything is possible for the Gunners.

 

 

Whether you play fantasy football with a group of rabid fans who follow the game closely and are always trying to get one up on you with the latest Brazilian wunderkid sensation who they swear will give them the edge this year, or you just want to follow up on the beautiful game you have spent your whole life following, mobile apps are a great way to get up to the latest minute information.

No matter the league you follow, the German Bundesliga, the Italian Serie A, English Barclay’s Premiere League, La Liga in Spain, the American Major League Soccer, the French Ligue 1, the Chinese Super League, the Turkish Super Lig, or some combination thereof, there is always information to be had about your favourite team’s and favourite player’s latest news.

And let’s be honest for a minute: for the friendly competition, all the banter with your contacts, what you really want to do is gloat in the glory of your long, hard-fought victory after your fantasy league is all said and done. So with that in mind, with all the information at stake for the diehard who has to know pretty much everything and with all the ongoing matches at the same time, how does one process so much information?

The specifics about every matchup includes pages of injury reports, who is and is not in form, potential trade rumours, who might be in the doghouse with the manager and will not see very much time on the pitch, advanced scouting reports, and live statistics as they unfold in game time.

So what are some of the best apps for all of this stuff? Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best footy apps out there on the market, for both main marketplaces in iOS or for Android.

Dream League Soccer

One of the top 10 sports games in at least four countries, including Turkey, Belgium, Singapore, and Italy, this sports management simulator is your mobile phone’s answer to football manager. No, it is not as nuanced as the popular sim on PC, it is still a fun romp that let you build a dream team of up to 32 players, including some custom-built from the ground up, smart artificial intelligence that will try to win one over on the trade front, the ability to actually play with your teams via a good control scheme and top-notch graphics, and four leagues within which you can put your skills to test.

Yes, this may be a simple mobile game, but this one has it all. For the ultimate challenge, develop your custom players to their full potential and meet the achievement targets on each board’s seasons by drafting and managing well to keep your AI fans happy while scoring high on the fan rating system.

ESPN FC’s App

Take a break from games like the above fun and diversions like http://www.gomobilebingo.com/ to get into the meat and potatoes of the sport with an amazing go-to app like ESPN FC’s very own app. If you visit the website, then you know they have great comprehensive coverage of all the top European leagues, with special focus on all things MLS and Premiership-related, but also European football in general. This one is quite inclusive of most football fans’ interests, so check it out on either iOS or Android devices.

Bantr

Now, for something a little less orthodox: the social app Bantr joins football fans from around the globe to talk about games as they go on in real time, with the ability to view live stats and even engage in friendly, well, banter with fans of other teams. That means healthy trash talk, of course, or just discussing the finer aspects of the beautiful game.

Of course, feel free to crowdsource football knowledge from diehards of other teams to gleam information you might not normally be privy to: for instance, for the diehard who closely follows the rumours and knows that based on last week’s performance, Arsenal is looking for goalkeeping help, you might not want to play their keeper on your fantasy team next week. Find knowledgeable fans with inside access and you might not have to follow up on general news sites anymore.

As the Boxing Day is nearing, the Top 4 Premier League contenders are settling in, and Arsenal is quite comfortably one of them. Man City is only ahead by the goals scored – and the upcoming game may just be the perfect opportunity to secure an advantage, seeing as they have a tougher opponent ahead than the Gunners.

In a perfect world, Liverpool would face Man City without missing so many key players to injuries, but they can still make their rivals work hard on the pitch. Plus, neither Sergio Aguero nor David Silva are expected to be fit enough to play, which really opens up a brilliant opportunity for Liverpool – and in turn, it may make Man City lose the cosy #1 spot.

Now this potential shift in the table can only do so much for the Gunners: the fact is, they need to win the upcoming game against West Brom. Seeing as the matches in Week 14, 15, and 16 will be against Norwich City, Sunderland, and Aston Villa respectively, it’s the perfect time to get way ahead of the contenders.

Out of the last five meets with West Brom, Arsenal won four and drew one, and the last game ended in 4:1, which would be ideal for this weekend‘s match, too. In fact, the UK-licensed bookie TonyBet gives Arsenal 1/2 odds at winning as opposed to 11/2 that West Brom got, so assuming the latter club doesn’t pull a West Ham on Saturday, this is one of the games that the Gunners will surely win.

The following weeks will open up quite a few chances to collect points, too, considering as it will be four games in a row where the Gunners are clear favourites. After all, they’re currently the second in line to win the whole League according to the TonyBet sportsbook – and the matches ahead may just leave Man City lagging behind, as opposed to being a strong leader.

Another upside of this schedule is that the injured players will have a chance to come back just in time when the meets are much tougher. Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, and Danny Welbeck are all expected to come back at different times, however, the team should be able to manage the upcoming steak without them fully well.

Alexis Sanchez, however, already played the full 90 minutes for Chile, so he should be good to go as of now, and both Aaron Ramsey and Hector Bellerin are expected to appear on the field, too. Even if it so happened that they weren’t actually fit enough yet, for once the timing is decent enough and the squad can make do even with a long injury list.

The time is right for Arsenal to strike. After these four favourable weeks, it’s going to be Man City that the Gunners will have to try and beat, and by that time it would be ideal to have all key players healthy and the squad having had a proper taste of victory. And following that, it’s a straight race for the title!

As we get closer and closer to the January transfer window, more and more rumours are starting to circulate about forwards making the move over to the Emirates.

Karim Benzema is the name constantly linked, and with the controversy surrounding him, Real Madrid could be persuaded to part with the Frenchman. But who would you like to see take the number 9 shirt at the Emirates?

Naturally Benzema would be a good fit, whilst Celta Vigo striker Nolito has been hinting he could leave during the winter.

Personally, we’d like to see a real superstar come in. An Aguero type, or someone with the traits of Messi or Ronaldo, perhaps even a combination of the three. Agu-ess-do if you like.

What’s brilliant is that we’ve managed to create exactly that with Coral’s new Game Face page. He may not be the prettiest looking footballer, and is certainly no Olivier Giroud, but imagine what he would bring to the table. A perfect left and right food, tenacity, skill, speed, power. A player which would comfortably take the Gunners beyond City and to the top of the league.

Of course, this is just a pipe dream, but with the Christmas period on the horizon, we can certainly hope…

Let us know who you would love to see come into the squad in January, whether it be a concoction of your own or one of Europe’s free-scoring forwards.

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more