Wednesday, 15 February 2012

AC Milan (A)

You just couldn't write it. Thierry Henry's last PL game (again) and of course he scored the winner in the last minute. True class as always. It was a massive win for us and a massive 3 points to see up go back into fourth, albeit by goals scored but still fourth. Sunderland are a difficult team and to get a result was encouraging. However with the greatest respect to Sunderland we're facing arguably the toughest test of the season so far tonight.

In recent years we have a good record in the San Siro winning 2-0 in March 2008 and of course hammering Inter 5-1 in 2003. History is also on out side with Italian teams often faltering against English opposition, but of course in these games history is irrelevant. It all comes down to the performance on the night, as we found last year. We went out "without a hope" of beating Barcelona and the rest as they say is history. There is no doubt we can turn it on when we want too, lets hope the lads can turn it on tonight.

I think its vital that we get at least a score draw. Obviously a win would be great but I think the importance of an away goal may be the difference in what I can see being a tight tie. That said, we need to remember there are 2 legs to this game and that come full time tonight we're only half way there. I don't think there will be a lot of change to our team obviously bar Mertesacker who, bless him, isn't having the best time at the moment. I think Robbie Fowler being the wanker that he is may have been a bit harsh saying that it was Per's fault that Sunderland scored after he went down injured, but anyway I think this will see the manager shift Vermaelen back in and play Gibbs. He has other options if he thinks this might be a bit too intense for Gibbs who hasn't played in a while, but he's got to come back some time and its not like we have an easy game in the near future. The only other decision will be the choice between Rosicky and Ramsey, which I would think he'll choose Thomas purely because of experience.

AC Milan of course are an Italian superpower and sit top of the league, even though its very tight. Their strike force of Robinho, Pato and KP Boateng have been lethal this season and we'll need to watch their incisive moves tonight. Ibrahimovic is another option upfront and the midfield has the likes of Gattuso, Seedorf, Aquilani etc. so certainly no lack of talent.

Tonight will be tough, but it will be open and there's no reason to think we go into it without a hope. COYG!

Prediction: AC Milan 1-1 Arsenal