WTTGT Writer: Vivek Arulnathan
Yes. We’re finally there at last. After all those speculations, rumors and negativity, it will be great to see the boys back on the field in a competitive game. And believe me, I just can’t wait to see the gunners prove everyone who thinks ‘Arsenal are not good enough’ wrong-as they have been doing season after season.
Do Arsenal need any bigger incentive than St. James Park? They became the first-team ever to surrender a four goal lead last season and will want to set the record straight this time around. So what are we in for come Saturday?
It was such a relief when Wenger told that RVP, Verminator and Gibbs were fit to start against Newcastle. Arshavin and Ramsey are fine though they limped off the field during this week’s internationals. Walcott is still a doubt and Diaby and Wilshire are yet to recover from their respective injuries. Nasri and Fabregas are left out of the squad because of their uncertain futures at north London. So Arsenal pretty much have all their first choice players available.
POSSIBLE LINE-UP: Szczsney, Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelan, Gibbs, Song, Ramsey, Walcott, Arshavin, Gervinho, RVP.
Ben Arfa is out injured and Pardew has said that he will not start Shane Feugerson though Enrique has completed his move to Liverpool. Barton should start despite his disciplinary problems.
POSSIBLE LINE-UP: Krul, Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, Guttierez, Tiote, A Smith, Marveaux, Ameobi, Demba Ba.
ARSENAL: Thomas Vermaelen
Any Arsenal fan would accept that this man would have made a world of difference last season if not for his injuries. He missed close to eight months last season and Arsenal’s defence looked shaky without the former Ajax defender. Now fit, he has the demanding task of marshalling Arsenal’s vulnerable defence. Van Persie will be wearing the armband tomorrow but it is the Belgian who has a huge leadership task to do this season.
NEWCASTLE: Demba Ba
He was very impressive in his six month stay at West Ham and I believe he is a fantastic replacement for Andy Carroll. An imposing presence in the air, he will test the Arsenal defence during set pieces. He has that magical ability to create opportunities out of nothing and Arsenal need to mark him carefully or risk conceding a goal or two.
WHAT I WANT TO SEE TOMORROW….
No matter what others think, we Arsenal fans know that our team is capable of great things. So I want Arsenal to take a two goal lead by the end of 70 minutes. And I would love to see Miyaichi and Oxlade-Chamberlain make their debuts off the bench and get an early taste of Premier League football. And RVP continues his away goals record!
PREDICTION: Arsenal 2-1 Newcastle (Van Persie, Gervinho – Ba)