Arsenal will travel to Wembley with their defence down to bare bones but for Chelsea, only Bosingwa and Joe Cole will be missing. Advantage Chelsea on that.
But Arsenal won 3-0 against Villareal with a very similar defence to that which will feature today so no worries! Particularly birthday boy Fabianski was brilliant that day.
Arsenal list of injured players includes first-choice goalkeeper Manuel Almunia (ankle), central defenders Johan Djourou (knee) and William Gallas (knee), full backs Gael Clichy (back) and Sagna (virus) and possibly reserve left back Kieran Gibbs (groin) who will have to face a late fitness test to decide his availability for the match.
So if Gibbs fails the test, the defence would look like:
Eboue Toure Song Silvestre
That certainly is not a defence any fan would have wanted in the FA Cup semi final. But there isn’t a lack of desire. Fabianski is exceptionally talented. Eboue’s best position in my opinion is at right back. Toure is world class. Song has started to put up very solid performances. The only weak link would be Silvestre but his experience might prove an asset in such a crunch high level match.
Up front van Persie and Adebayor should start. The two’s partnership looked superb against Villareal. Arshavin, Fabregas, Denilson and Nasri to complete the attack and that completes a formidable side. I bet/hope it will put up a performance much better than people expect.
The form favours Arsenal. Unbeaten for 5 months says it all with 10 consecutive wins in the last 10 matches.
On the other hand Chelsea’s form is not as good: LWWWD.
Arsenal have let in 3 goals in the last five matches, whereas Chelsea have conceded an astounding 9, 7 of them in the last two matches.
This is the second of a string of big matches for Arsenal. First Villareal, now Chelsea, then Liverpool and a week later Manchester United. These games will make or break Arsenal’s season. Lets see can this side do it and make us all proud…
Prediction: 2-1 to Arsenal! But Arsenal have to watch out for Drogba and Lampard.