Arsenal v. Schalke UCL Preview & LiveBlog!By: Perry | October 24th, 2012
Hello Fellow Gunners,
Sorry I’ve been MIA of late, have had a bad run of ‘form’ shall we say of late. My phone was stolen and I was on a mission to find the felon. Let me tell you, the combination of “Locate my iPhone,” an idiot of a thief, and a very determined Perry was not a good combination. In the end, I lost, seems all to similar to our beloved team. Along with that, both my work and play laptop died sudden deaths. Everything was backed up thankfully, but it’s a long, gruesome process of coming back to life on new machines. Anyhow, I’m back in action and will report on today’s difficult and critical match against the German outfit, Schalke.
We welcome Schalke 04 to the Emirates with the Gunners looking to maintain their 100% record in the Champions League so far. Going for us is that we are undefeated in 45 matches at home against non-English opposition, a pretty incredible record to say the least. However, the knock against us today will be our team’s fitness…
Our injury list continues to grow, as a knock to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in Saturday’s defeat to Norwich means he joins Bacary Sagna, Theo Walcott, Laurent Koscielny and Abou Diaby on the sidelines. Along with these lads, Kieran Gibbs has a possibility to feature, but it is unlikely that he will be risked ahead of Andre Santos. There is also a possibility that Wilshere could feature in some form, but I’m guessing he might play his first real match this weekend instead.
A win for us would virtually guarantee our progress to the next round, with a solid five point cushion over our nearest rivals if they emerge victorious. We really do need to take this match with that in mind so we can rest our starters for the subsequent UCL group matches and focus on the other cups and league.
Regarding our opposition, Arsene had this to say about them, “They are a team with few superstars, but they have good players in every position.” The most recognizable player for most of us will be Klass Jan Huntelaar, who notched 27 goals in 28 appearances last season and has been linked with a transfer to just about every club in Europe. Podolski and Per Mer both noted that we need to take this club very seriously because they are dangerous when given a chance, as evident with their big win over the weekend against Dortmund. Another player who I would say we should watch is Afellay, who Arsenal had apparently targeted for some time.
Our likely starters are (will update when lineups are released): Mannone; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Santos; Arteta, Ramsey; Gervinho, Cazorla, Podolski; Giroud
UPDATED LINEUPS (I was off by one) – Starting: Mannone, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, André Santos, Jenkinson, Arteta, Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Coquelin, Gervinho, Podolski
Subs: Shea, Koscielny, Djourou, Gnabry, Giroud, Arshavin, Chamakh
Game starts at 2:45 EST and available on various television outlets.
The LiveBlog will be made available now, but I’ll be around sporadically today watching while taking a conference call, so I look forward to you all being lively throughout!
COME ON YOU GUNNERS!