Arsenal's top scorer Robin van Persie looks like missing the
big game against Manchester United at the weekend, after picking up
a knock in training. It doesn't look too serious though and reports
suggest that intense work between now and then might still give
him a chance of playing in Sunday's game at Ashburton Grove, and
a very good chance of making the League Cup semi first leg against
Tottenham in midweek.|
If Robin's injured, Emmanuel Adebayor is the obvious replacement,
assuming that Arsenal play 4-4-2. That should be fine. Adebayor's
had a great season, and seemed to be still getting better when
a combination of his injury, Thierry Henry's return, and
choice of formation saw him lose his place. When playing 4-5-1, with
Henry up front van Persie, Julio Baptista and Theo Walcott are
probably better options. And if Jeremie Aliadiere can transfer his
form to the league then he might be a better option too.
United defender Rio Ferdinand says
that Adebayor, who scored the only game in our win
at Old Trafford 3 months ago, is our danger man.
"I would say he is the toughest to be honest. I think Adebayor is
the player who has given us the most problems this season, with
his movement and skill. Arsenal controlled the game against us and
he was exceptional."
With Gilberto suspended for his Savage assault
in the win at Ewood
Park on Saturday, the midfield would appear to pick itself. If fit,
it's Cesc Fabregas, Mathieu Flamini, Tomas Rosicky, and Alexander Hleb.
It's not impossible that Freddie Ljungberg will be available though and
if so, it's just the kind of game where he could make the difference.
In defence, William Gallas is still a distance from fitness following
a setback, but Emmanuel Eboue is hoping to be
available to regain his place from Justin Hoyte. The other right back,
Lauren, may be fit. But bringing him back for this one would be
a big risk and given that no-one's acted to quash the rumours about him
looking to move (latest is that he's said to have rejected a move to West Ham because
he'd prefer to go to Spain or France), it seems likely that he's played his last game for us.
We hope not. Let's give him a send-off against Tottenham, at least.