Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Arsenal vs Birmingham: An Early Preview

The Gunners are looking to bounce back from the back to back defeats against West Bromwich Albion (3-2) and Chelsea (2-0) with a home win against Birmingham this weekend. Arsenal currently trail leaders Chelsea by 7 points after 8 matches and sit in fourth place, behind the two Manchester sides. 

Arsene Wenger received a boost  as Cesc Fabregas, Nicklas Bendtner and possibly Theo Walcott will be available for the match. However, Bacary Sagna was injured during France’s international victory over Romania and will be missing for at least 3 weeks. Long term injury victims like Van Persie and Vermaelen also look set to be re-joining the team soon although they will not be available at the Emirates for the weekend.

Birmingham’s start to this year Premiership season is not as spectacular as last year where they remained in the top half of the league throughout the season. Like Arsenal, they also suffered a poor home defeat at the hands of Everton, leaving them near the bottom of the league table at 17th place with only 7 points from 7 matches.
Alex McLeish does not have any major injury problems and looks set to call upon former Arsenal midfielder Alex Hleb to provide the creativity that will hopefully unlock his former club. Besides Hleb, Sebastian Larrson is another ex-Gunner who will relish the feeling of getting one over his former club.

Last season’s match at the Emirates ended 3-1 in favour of the Gunners. However, in the return fixture at St. Andrews, Kevin Phillips popped up in the final seconds of the match to score an equalizer for Birmingham in a 1-1 draw that effectively put paid to Arsenal’s already slim chances of winning the league last season.  The Gunners will definitely not want a repeat of the episode this time around.

By Guest Kid

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