Nothing eases the pain of a derby loss than a derby win, especially against spurs.
Wenger now has a decision to make. If Coquelin is out for a while who does he pick to play next to Cazorla? The obvious answer would be club captain Mikel Arteta, but Flamini made a good case for inclusion with his all action performance at the lane. He reminded me of how he played during his first spell at the club, when he was referred to as ‘the running man’. Against spurs he ran where he normally points, tackled when he normally shouts and his two goals were excellently taken.
There is an argument to play Rambo centrally, which is what most supporters would probably prefer, but Arsene seems to prefer him on the right, (personally I’d go Ramsey centrally and the Ox on the right, even though he’s better on the left).
We’ll have a tough game on our hands when we take on the foxes away. They have the players to hurt us and Claude Ranieri has them playing excellent football. If we don’t allow them to overwhelm us early on we’ll have a great chance of winning. Leicester are unlikely to sit deep and defend so our forward players will have a few extra yards to work with, and Leicester don’t have the best defence.
The only concern for me is the absence of Coquelin. We don’t have the right defensive balance when he doesn’t play, especially as he covers the entire width of the pitch and helps out both full backs when necessary.
Whoever Wenger opts to put in central midfield will have work hard defensively on both sides of the pitch and win the ball centrally as well.
A lot will also depend on who Wenger plays at the back, because Vardy is very very fast. My concern is that if Mertesacker starts he’ll be targeted. Koscielny does a very good job of sweeping up balls played in behind, but with Mahrez cutting inside as often as he does he may have his hands full, leaving Per exposed. Chambers on the other hand is faster and slightly better equipped to deal with Vardy or Mahrez, so he’d be my first choice to start.
Overall we are a better side and we’ve been quite good away from home, especially when we can keep all of our players on the pitch so I’m hopeful we’ll win. I know it’s early days, but if we lose and City win, (leaving us 8 points behind them) we may have to question whether a title tilt is really on this year.
Olympiakos is a game we have to win otherwise we’ll be under tremendous pressure in the group with two matches Bayern Munich approaching. We already need a result in one or both of those games so defeat against the Greeks is unthinkable. Fingers crossed for two big wins.