By Graham McNorthbank
Arsenal travel to Celtic tonight hoping to achieve what many other English teams have failed to in their visits to Parkhead – a win.
Can they do it? Of course they can.
Will they do it? Only time will tell.
Abou Diaby returns to the squad after injury, but Theo Walcott is definitely out as he has not recovered from his back injury, while the trio of Bacary Sagna, Cesc Fabregas and Denilson are doubtful having all picked up knocks in the win over Everton.
By the sound of Le Gaffer’s comments at the pre-match press conference yesterday, I’m guessing that Sagna is the worst of the three and he may be rested, allowing Emmanuel Eboue to start. In saying that, we’ve seen before that Sagna is quick to recover, so I wouldn’t be too surprised to see him tonight – especially given that Celtic’s biggest threats come from their wide players Shaun Maloney and Aiden McGeady.
Arsene promised the media that he would be playing his strongest possible team, such is the importance of tonight’s game to the club, so I reckon Fabregas and Denilson will both make it.
With that in mind, I believe our best 11 is close to the team that started against Everton on Saturday, with one key difference. For those of you who visit Addict regularly, it’ll be no shock that I’m about to mention my favourite player, Eduardo.
But I believe the way to beat Celtic is on the ground, passing through them the Arsenal way. The Old Firm aside, the Scottish game is full of teams who take the aerial route to goal and Celtic are well equipped to handle that pressure. But as we saw with their arch enemies Rangers in the Emirates Cup, teams from north of the border are not used to the fast passing game that the Gunners play and I believe Wengerball will be the key to opening Celtic up tonight, with Eduardo, rather than Nicklas Bendtner, on hand to threaten the home side’s goal.
And what better than bringing on the big Dane as an impact sub late on in the match when legs are tired?
Use our comments section below to share your thoughts on Arsenal’s starting 11 tonight. For the record, here is mine:
Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Clichy
Denilson Fabregas Arshavin
Van Persie Eduardo