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So here we are, smack bang in the middle of that run of games that we've been dreading, yet strangely we have no idea how good or bad we are doing.

Danny Welbeck's late glancing header kicked things off wonderfully well but Barcelona came to London and left with the tie all but wrapped up. But while our Champions league match left us feeling a dose of 'what if' there was plenty to take from the game that could give us huge belief ahead of this afternoon's trip to Old Trafford.

We were extremely organised and disciplined against the best team in the world and restricted them to a handful of chances, less than most teams who have been unfortunate enough to face Messi, Suarez and Neymar over the last two seasons.

While Manchester United are not the team of a few years back, we would be foolish to think that we can rock up to Manchester and sleep our way to three points. With or without injuries.

I tell you what though, isn't it a pleasant sight to see the opposition having to deal with a larger injury list than our own at this stage of the season. It feels rather rare. That said, I'm pretty sure they will have some of their injured players back in the squad and back fully motivated to face Arsenal, as per usual.

As for us, Francis Coquelin left the pitch late on Tuesday, so we wait to see if he is ready to start today, we kinda need him to be. Coquelin and Ramsey gave us a good platform on Tuesday so it would be good to see them build on that.

I suspect we are likely to see a tweak or two higher up the pitch, in fact that is a certainty given Oxlade-Chamberlain's serious injury. 

Arsène didn't want to give the game away in his press conference about whether or not Danny Welbeck would start. He said that he wants to remain cautious but I can't help but think he could start after making an impact every time he has come off the bench. I don't need to remind you that it was 'Welbz' who made the difference the last time he went to Old Trafford.

The thing is, Arsène hasn't really given Welbeck much of a run as centre forward so I wouldn't be surprised to see Welbeck played from the right and maybe Walcott played through the middle. On a very similar theme, I would really like to see Alexis have a run as our centre forward. Now, I am sure Arsène has his reasons why that experiment has been pretty much thrown out with the rubbish, I mean he is the fella who gets to see the players up close and on a regular basis, not to mention the fact that he has had a few decent strikers under his management over the years but watching Sergio Agüero take a quick touch past his man and fire low past the keeper in their 3-1 beating of Dynamo Kyiv on Wednesday, I thought to myself, 'Alexis could do that'

It's been a tad frustrating watching Alexis receive the ball out wide on the left, burst past a man and then run into a defender or misplace a pass. Alexis is an explosive player who creates uncertainty in the opposition, I want to see that uncertainty around or in the opposition penalty box, not on the left wing where we need to build up the game but I am wasting words here, Arsène doesn't seem too keen on the idea so I'm sure Alexis will make me eat my words and have a blinder on the left, which of course I'd lap up like nobody's business.

We have been waiting patiently for Alexis to burst back into life and Arsène has backed him to do so today. He showed glimpses of that during the first half in the CL so I am hoping we get to see the real Alexis today as he will be vitally important to any title challenge we produce from now 'til May.

Mean Lean's Predicted Line Up:

With Leicester City scoring a late winner yesterday and Tottenham having such a ridiculously easy game at home to Swansea, that they will absolutely not drop any points in, like any points at all, the pressure on us winning at Old Trafford is pretty high. They are missing a number of key players so if we are to beat them then you'd think now was the time but football with Arsenal rarely works that way it seems. We would probably have a better chance against a full strength team playing well at the minute.

I'd like to see a similar tempo that we showed in our last game, if our passing is as good as it can be and we fight for this game then I'm quietly confident that we can win here for the first time since 2006, an awful long time ago now.

A victory and good performance would work wonders for this team. Oh and can we score some goals today please.

Thanks x

  • 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