Arsenal vs. Leeds United
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Kickoff: 1:15AM IST, Emirates Stadium, Live on Sony Set Pix
Our year started on a bad note with a loss to Fulham in the Premiere League but we can put that aside and except the team to bounce back stronger after this winter break which provides some breathing space for a few players. However we have a match and its the 3rd round of FA cup against Leeds tonight and we can hope for an easy win. There has been much talk abt the match because of the January transfer window being open and everything being overshadowed by the news of Henry’s return. Now that it is confirmed a few days back, just before the deadline time to be eligible for the Leeds game, that he has being signed on a 2 month long loan, we can concentrate on the match in hand. Wenger has confirmed that he would be putting out a strong team for this match and might rest just a couple of players. That is a show good intent from the Manager and maybe it got to do with what happened last year when we played Leeds. We cannot afford to have a bad game and we should try to get the win very comfortably. Gervinhno would not feature as he would head back to Ivory Coast’s pre Africa Cup of Nations training camp but there is a chance that Chamakh would play tonight and then head out to play in the African Cup of Nations.
Wenger did confirm that Henry is not fit enough to play the entire game but he is going to be there in the match so you can except him to come off the bench for the final 20 – 25 mins of the match and he has always had good time playing against Leeds. We can be assured for the team spirit to be hign with him among them. Lets not get carried away with his signing for now and concentrate on the match. We continue to have our concerns with full backs so there would be no much choices for the manager but to choose from Yennaris,Coquelin or Miquel. I would assume that he would go for the former two and Miquel cover for CB in the substitute list.One thing is for sure that Van Persie would have the much needed rest for this game.
This match against Leeds cannot be ignored just for the fact that they are not a Premiere League team as we have had big battles with them in the FA cup. Arsenal have made it past the third round in each of the last 15 seasons in the FA Cup, a longer run than any other side! Arsenal have lost only one of their last 35 FA Cup ames at home under Arsène Wenger and we did loose to Leeds 0-1 in February 1997. This will be the 15th meeting between the sides in the FA Cup and so far Arsenal have won six, drawn seven and lost two.The two sides met at this stage last season, drawing 1-1 at the Emirates before the Gunners won 3-1 at Elland Road and this is exactly what Wenger would try to avoid this time around.
On the team news for Leeds, they will be without Patrick Kisnorbo who miss’s the rest of the season with a knee injury. Fellow defender Alex Bruce is struggling with a hamstring tear and will be assessed ahead of the journey to the capital. However, United’s defensive worries could be eased after Tom Lees and Darren O’Dea returned to training following recent injuries. Winger Robert Snodgrass remains sidelined following his appendix operation last Thursday, as does skipper Jonny Howson, who has missed the last five games due to a knee injury.
Let us hope for a good game tonight and an easy win for us. It should be, given that the players have got the must needed rest and the ones that were missing first team chances would get a chance to impress the Manager and i am talking about the likes of AOC, Benayoun and Arshavin. It would be icing ont he cake if can get a comfortable win and henry gets a goal . He always had amazing time playing against Leeds and lets hope it continues today. Cant wait to see the crowd response when he gets on to the pitch in his new number 12.
Signing off with some higlights of Henry’s 4 goals against Leeds and they were just unbealivable..
You can let us know what your thoughts are on Henry’s return to the team and about the game with Leeds. Also your predictions for the game !!