Arsenal vs Olympiakos

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Arsenal vs Olympiakos Empty Arsenal vs Olympiakos

Post by Mario on Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:09 pm

This match preview is brought to you by Arseblog because it's easier to cut and paste.


Morning to you.

Let’s start with tonight’s Champions League game against Olympiacos. They’re becoming familiar opponents as this is the third year in the last four we’ve drawn them in the group stages and we’ve got a good record at home, winning both games. Last year Oxlade-Chamberlain and Andre Santos got the goals in a 2-1 win, the previous season Andrei Arshavin and some Dutch Skunk got both in a 2-0 triumph.

In terms of team news tonight there’s a real doubt over Mikel Arteta who has an ankle problem and will face a late fitness test. If there’s any doubt about him we should err on the side of caution with a tricky enough game coming up this weekend at West Ham. We know Abou Diaby is out for around three weeks with a thigh strain, and while I understand the manager having a little pop at France for calling him earlier in the season, the reality is that injuries and Diaby are just inseparable, sadly.

It means quite a shuffling around if both players are missing but that’s part and parcel of the game and it’s up to those who come in to make sure they’re not missed as badly as we might fear. At the back I don’t see Laurent Koscielny continuing after his Chelsea horrors, and up front I really think we need to start giving Olivier Giroud a run of games. I know Gervinho is scoring and obviously he’s added end product to our game but Giroud looks like a guy who needs a few games to really find his feet.

So, if it were me, we’d line-up: Mannone – Jenkinson – Mertesacker – Vermaelen – Gibbs – Coquelin – Ramsey – Cazorla – Podolski – Gervinho – Giroud

There are other options too for midfield and up front and I’d imagine Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is very much in the manager’s thoughts in both cases, although I don’t see any change in his stance with Theo Walcott who will most likely find himself on the bench again. As for our opponents, we know they’re not an easy side to play against as two away defeats prove (albeit under not quite normal circumstances in both cases), but at home you have to think we’re strong enough to take three points tonight.

While much of the focus will be on cutting out the mistakes at the back, the chances we missed on Saturday against Chelsea still rankle and with better finishing we wouldn’t have lost that game. So defensive improvement is necessary, with Carl Jenkinson speaking of the need to improve at set-pieces in yesterday’s press conference, but when the chances are made up the other end we’ve got to take them. I love Santi Cazorla (pronounced ‘Cathorla’ by the Spanish TV crew yesterday, just saying …*cough* …) but some improved accuracy from him would help matters.

Lukas Podolski has had a quiet couple of games too so it’d be nice to see him step it up again, and of course the aforementioned Giroud could obviously use a goal, or two, and play himself into the reckoning. And look, if the midfield wanted to chip in with a goal or two this season that’d be about time too. Anyway, once the goals come I don’t really care from where.

It’s another game in which Steve Bould will take the manager’s position on the bench with Arsene Wenger sidelined because of his failure to build a shrine to Platini in his back garden, but after a more testing game away at Montpellier I think this will feel more comfortable for him tonight. Overall it’s an Arsenal side with something to prove in a number of areas, but if we play well and cut out the silly stuff we should have another three points under our belts come the final whistle.


As for Olympiakos: From Greek Football on Twitter -

Greek Football ‏@greekfooty
More bad news for Olympiacos as Djebbour and Fejsa did not make the squad for London (along with Torosidis and long term casualty Avraam Pap.)

Greek Football ‏@greekfooty
This means Mitroglou will start as a lone striker. Also with the lack of solutions at DR and DMC I won't be surprised if Diakite debuts.

Greek Football ‏@greekfooty
Jardim has trouble fitting Machado in (he is not good playing wide and Ibagaza is better as an MC). He also does not seem to trust Greco.

Greek Football ‏@greekfooty
With Olympiacos missing key players and Panathinaikos in terrible form, I predict a tough week for the Greek sides versus Arsenal and Spurs.

Greek Football ‏@greekfooty
Olympiacos have played 10 European Cup games in English soil and have lost them all scoring just 2 and conceding 31 in the procedure!

Greek Football ‏@greekfooty
The last two of those ten games were vs Arsenal. In the first one Olympiacos lost 2-0 with two late goals with @71nikopolidisA the clear MVP

Greek Football ‏@greekfooty
In the last one which was last year they lost 2-1 and could have landed a draw but Torosidis hit the woodwork in their best chance to tie it

Greek Football ‏@greekfooty
Olympiacos probable XI: Megyeri (Carroll)- Contreras, Manolas, Holebas, Diakite- Modesto, Maniatis, Ibagaza- Fuster, Abdoun, Mitroglou

Greek Football ‏@greekfooty
Given how weakened Olympiacos look compared to last year though I am afraid I expect their terrible record in England to be extended tonight



So there you have it. I also expect an Arsenal win and nothing less would do. As long as we treat them seriously we should win and should Schalke beat Montpellier in Germany then you're already looking at half a foot into the next round.

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Post by ralph avedikian on Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:47 am

I don't agree with this formation. I think we'll go:

Mannone

Jenk - Per - TV - Santos

Coq - Ramsey

Theo - Santi - Ox

Giroud


No it's not that I am taking Olympiakos lightly, but because if we can't rest some players against Olympiakos at home then we can't rest them at all. Plus, this team is more than good enough to win this game.

2-0, Giroud and Santi.

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Post by Vanig Bostanian on Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:12 am

So who's starting?

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Post by Mike York on Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:17 am

Arsenal team: Mannone, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Coquelin, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski & Gervinho

Subs: Shea, Santos, Djourou, Arshavin, Ramsey, Walcott, Giroud.

According to Sky Sports.
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Post by Michael Foster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:23 am

Like the lineup....no place for mert could be a good thing for this match....

This should and I say should be an easy home win....Olympiakos have a whole host of players out and their record for the last 10 games in England....

P10 D0 L10 GF 2 GA 31

not looking good...all the markings for a i say 4-0 win

But those long runs always come to an end....just not against us will be fine thank you.

Cazorla,ox,podolski 2 for goals lol


Last edited by Michael Foster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Steve Dawson on Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:25 am

Michael Foster wrote:Like the lineup....no place for mert could be a good thing for this match....

Apparantly Mertesacker is ill, he's not been dropped.

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Post by Michael Foster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:29 am

Steve Dawson wrote:
Michael Foster wrote:Like the lineup....no place for mert could be a good thing for this match....

Apparantly Mertesacker is ill, he's not been dropped.

Yer I had seen that...just glad Dj is not in for him....
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Post by Michael Foster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:32 am

For Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, tonight is all about bouncing back. Their last Premier League game saw them lose at home to Chelsea and the Frenchman is determined that his side do not fall to another loss against Olympiakos.

"The players are still down [after Saturday's loss to Chelsea FC] but we have a Champions League game ahead of us," said Wenger.
"We play at home and want to put things right. There are lots of positives to take - what was not good in the last game was easy to correct. It is a long championship, but we have to make sure the Champions League is long as well. I am impressed by the mentality of my team, but mentality is also how you respond to disappointment and I'm confident we will - that's what we want to show."

Let's see it in action tonight Arsene......


Nice early goal and wrap up this game before half time...
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Post by Michael Foster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:34 am

Just had a little chuckle at this on Twitter....

From Ollie in Coventry, via text on 81111: "Don't wish to become a master of jinxes, but Arsenal have never lost a match at home on a Wednesday night since they moved to the Emirates six years ago."


Somebody had to bloody say it lol.....
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Post by Mike York on Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:51 am

Wouldn't be surprised if Giroud being rested for West Ham. We'll likely need him to defend set pieces.
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Post by Michael Foster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:21 am

just got in from work to see that olympiakos effort....how we been playing people??
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Post by Michael Foster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:25 am

great goal kick that...not..ffs...
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Post by ralph avedikian on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:26 am

Too many sloppy passes.. think Wenger should have made more changes (my lineup preferably :p) oopps 1-0

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Post by Michael Foster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:27 am

5head does it again!!!!!!!!
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Post by Michael Foster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:28 am

hows the back 4 been..verm having another sloppy game?
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Post by ralph avedikian on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:28 am

What a season for Gervinho, goal wise at least!

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Post by ralph avedikian on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:29 am

Yeah Verm and Kos not good at all. Too many stupid fouls.

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Post by Michael Foster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:31 am

ffs....had a slight feeling this was going to be bitch of a game...yet another high ball cost us...so much for the bould affect....
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Post by ralph avedikian on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:31 am

ffs we are defending just last towards the end of last year!

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Post by ralph avedikian on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:33 am

Good test for Bould now, would like to know what he has to say at HT.

Team not concentrating, not patient enough, not sharp enough...

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Post by Dan Hakim on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:37 am

Verm is having an awful game. But, sloppy passes from everyone really. It's not just the center backs who are having a hard time.
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Post by Vanig Bostanian on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:37 am

What a terrible goal to concede. We've been playing like shit, creating almost nothing against a well organized Greek defense and on top of that, we are sloppy. Koscielny and especially Vermaelen are having bad games. The Ox and Le Coq not having very good games either. Wouldn't mind throwing Arshavin on later in the game.

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Post by Dan Hakim on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:48 am

I wouldn't say no to Arshavin. We need an offensive spark, and Arsha can certainly provide that. But who's to say that Arshavin won't be any less sloppy?
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Post by Michael Foster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:52 am

holy shit he missed that how!!! Shocked
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Post by ralph avedikian on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 am

Coquelin playing like denilson..just jogging and doesnt give a fuck it seems!

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