I’ve only just about recovered from last night. God only knows how the players are doing.
So we take on Blackburn Rovers for the third time in two months. With the added bonus of the stadium’s knobometer registering significantly less than usual with Savage on crutches somewhere.
The players damn well better be fired up from Wednesday, to win despite pretty much everything going horribly wrong was a true testament to the spirit and quality of the squad. Or some other Wenger-esque quote.
Blackburn’s form at the moment is patchy to say the least. LLWLWLWLW is how they’re fared in their last nine games in all competitions. They’ve lost four of their last five away games, and they played away in Germany midweek. Couldn’t really ask for a better time to play them considering our squad will be recovering from 120 minutes against some knobs up north.
At home against Blackburn in all competitions since 97 we’ve won seven times, drawn once and lost twice. We lost early in the 2002/2003 season, and in Wenger’s first full season. In the FA Cup we’ve knocked them out twice under Arsene, in March 2001 we beat them in the quarter final and two seasons ago we beat them in the semi final at Cardiff on our way to lifting the trophy.
Gallas and van Persie go without saying obviously.
We’ll have to wait and see what Wenger says about Eboue, Flamini and Hleb on Friday as no one has any idea of the severity of their injuries.
Morten Gamst Perdersen, Matt Derbyshire, Steven Reid, Andre Ooijer and Robbie Savage are all injured for this game.
I’m fairly certain the team will be mixed about considering the players that played 120 minutes yesterday and the fact that we travel to Holland to face PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday, and you’d expect Wenger to be wanting his full strength side out for that one. There’s also the Carling Cup final in just over a week to keep in mind.Almunia should keep his place in goal. Hoyte should return at right back with Eboue possibly making his return on Tuesday.
Senderos will probably come into the centre of defense in place of either Toure or Djourou after completing his two game suspension. Walcott will start on the right with either Rosicky or Ljungberg on the left. Gilberto will move back into central midfield with one of Fabregas/Diaby/Denilson/Flamini for company. Probably Fabregas, seeing as Denilson and Diaby played all 120 minutes in the middle of a hectic game.
Aliadiere will probably start upfront with either Adebayor or Baptista. Henry perhaps on the bench. With Adebayor and Henry expected to start on Tuesday maybe we’ll see: