Just for a bit of fun as Monday’s game feels a bit like cup final I am going to preview the game in true tabloid FA Cup final style. I will set out the predicted line ups position for position and in true hack fashion write on each player and give them a mark our of 10.
Of course the team with the highest mark out of 110 is bound to win and if we enjoy the fun I may do it again in future so here goes:
|Goal Keeper||SzczeneyThe young Pole has risen to the challenge this term and proved the doubters wrong. He has been inspired. Strong mentality, better decision making and our keeper for years to come. 9||CechOnce perhaps the world’s finest he is not that now. Suspect on crosses and has I feel lost the bravery required. A weak link in this Chelsea team and I am surprised Mourinho not bringing back his loanee from Spain. 7|
|Right Back||SagnaBack in the sort of form that used to win him a place in the EPL team of the year with regularity. Great in the air and only weak link can be quality of crossing. 9||IvanovicExtremely consistent at this level, with a burst of speed, great overlapping and a set piece goal threat. Hard day for Santi. 9|
|Left Back||GibbsVastly improved form and better luck with injuries this season sees Kieran knocking on the England door. Still prone to odd lapse in concentration. 8||AzpilicuetaA right footer playing left back ahead of our dear old pal Ashley. Very quick but I suspect Theo might find him out. I feel he has promised but is no Cole so hope he plays. 7|
|Centre Back||MertesackerI have been eating my words on Per for the past 6 months although he recently admitted he was poor in first year. Solid now but will need to be at his game reading best with a new partner alongside. 8.5||CahillA good ball carrier but his distribution is average and he is still prone to poor positioning and lapses. Equally capable of game saving tackles. Certainly will be selected ahead of Luiz as a defender. 7.5|
|Centre Back||VermaelenMonday would be a superb day for Thomas to have a barnstormer. He is capable but h must listen to his German partner and not drift up the pitch. It is all about confidence and concentration but it is a concern. 7||TerryLike the keeper not the 9 plus player he was at his peak but still a big match performer and not to be under estimated. He will have a real battle with Giroud I suspect and the outcome may well be decided by who wins the tussle. 8|
|Deep Holder||FlaminiI expect the Frenchman to get the nod over Arteta largely due to his additional pace and discipline. He will do the dirty job and give the ball simply to those who can damage Cheslea. 8||MikelSave to say he has medals galore but I simply do not get this guy but I he may get the nod of Lampard for similar reasons for Flamini over Arteta. Ozil can make him look the ordinary player he is. 7|
|Second Holder/pivot||RamseyI hope the 9 days rest will see Aaron return to the swashbuckling form he has shown for most of this campaign. This is a player who needs to add a huge performance v a Premiership big boy to his CV. I feel he will. 9||RameresSimply a top box to box player for me and it is a testament to Ramsey’s progress that he will not score as highly. However he is a danger and has similar engine to the Welshman. Promises to be quite a battle in the middle of the park. 8.5|
|Right attacking midfield||WalcottFit, revitalized and hungry, Theo was the one shining light in last week’s defeat. Golas to support Giroud and runs to be found by Ozil I can’t help feeling this could be a sweet spell for our speedster. Oh and he loves scoring v Chelsea. 8.5||HazardI would love to say he has been in waste of money but credibly I cannot. However I do feel like Theo he blows hot and cold and can hide in some games. Undoubted huge talent but I have yet to see £35 million of it. He should provide more than he does. 8.5|
|Central Attacking Midfield||OzilI would say Ozil has been quietly effective without yet hitting top gear. So to have 4 goals and 7 assists despite that is amazing. He is the closest to Bergkamp in so many ways. Touch, vision, off the ball movement and passing range I could go on… 9||MataHard to be certain the silky Spaniard will play but he certainly should get the nod. For me he has been the best players in the league in this position for the past few seasons. Flamini will be sticking to him like glue to stop him playing I hope or he can and has hurt us. 9|
|Left attacking midfield||CazorlaNo secret that I would love to see Podolski here but he is most likely to feature from the bench. Santi has not hut top form yet this season but let us hope he does on Monday. The Cazorla of 2012/13 is one f other best creators in the league. 8||SchürrleThe German’s extra power and goal threat should see him get the nod over Oscar. I have been impressed by him to date but I am not so sure he has played against a right back of Sagna’s quality. Jury definitely our on this new addition to the EPL 7.5|
|Centre Forward||GiroudOlivier will be desperate to score after a lean period but he still brings so much to the overall Arsenal team performance. Whilst some fans would discard him in January for a shiny new striker and not so sure his team mates would agree. 8||TorresA name that once filled defenders with terror now not so much. Even without Koscielny I feel we can keep Fernando quiet. Ba would worry me more as it happens but the Spaniard seems to get selected mostly for the league. 7|
So there you have it in black and white Arsenal have the edge 92 over 86 in the true tabloid cup final fashion. Well in one chaps opinion at least but then the bookies agree with me making Arsenal short price favourites.
On one last note I truly hope that we see this celebration in the second half
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