Can Arsenal have a word with Norwich, Hull City and the FA about switching the league fixture and the cup final around? Because I don't know about you but this game is an almighty distraction. We have the whole getting to 79 points and the golden glove (or whatever it's called) to play for but really, the only thing we all care about if that we finish the 90 minutes with a clean bill of health. Yet I am reminded of the amount of times that Arsène Wenger has explained that the best preparation of an upcoming game is to win your previous match.
The good news is that we have some injury doubts back in the squad. I say doubts but I am sure most if not all these players have been strategically nurtured back to fitness just in time for the final. Jack Wilshere is a case in point, he has been at London Colny for a while now away from the microphones and cameras so to us it looks like Wilshere is making a miraculous recovery just in the nick of time when in fact Arsène has been playing it safe and bringing him back slowly. Arseblog has said that Aaron Ramsey was rested last week against West Brom rather than the reported thigh niggle in the press.
But given that some of Arsène's first choicer's will be short of match practice, he will have to risk some. Kieran Gibbs hasn't featured since the FA Cup semi final and will need to sharpen up so I wouldn't be surprised to see Gibbs start for at least 70 minutes or so.
It has just struck me that in the final week of our league season we probably have the most amount of players available to us this season. Only Oxlade-Chamberlain who is back in training and Theo Walcott will be missing from the squad.
The funny thing is that you don't expect injuries after a single game of football, yes they are random but they happen far less when you are down to playing one game a week.
I wonder if Yaya Sanogo will be afforded the chance to break his goal drought with Oliver Giroud replacing him to finish the game. Does Arsène start Jenkinson and save the final for Sagna's farewell? Does Rosicky come in for Santi? I would rest Arteta but I bet Arsène plays him. When injuries are not outstaying their welcome it is far more difficult to guess the starting line up.
Norwich are as good as down today given the vast goal difference between themselves and Sunderland who would also need to lose. Wouldn't it be fun if Norwich set up offensively to make up the goal difference. At least it would make interesting viewing. Can't see that happening though can you?
While entertainment is by far the biggest reason why I watch football, way ahead of my yearning for trophies I'd gladly take another game like last weekend if it meant that we would end the 90 minutes without any players missing the cup final.
Mean Lean's Predicted Line Up:
Can I have some odds on that being the wrong team? Because I reckon I would have a good chance of making some serious money. I have no idea what Arsène will do.
There were rumours of Abou Diaby starting today but I am not sure how strong those rumours were, I'd love to see that if he was 100% over his injury.. well you know what I mean. I would also like to see Per rested but I reckon Arsène will want his centre back partnership to continue before the big game next week.
Anyway I'm not sure I can spend anymore time on this one. Struggling to care very much but am hoping to see some good football and some Arsenal goals, yes Arsenal goals are good. Lukas Podolski hasn't scored for a few games and I would love a Sanogo goal.
For once the result isn't the most important thing. Entertain me, don't get injured and feed me grapes. Ok, I can do without the grapes.
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