Sunday, 16 March 2014

Tottenham (A)

Well I can't say I'm surprised that we're out of the Champions League. We had it all to do and when that ugly German Schweinsteiger scored in the 54th minute the tie was all but over. Podolski scored a quite superb goal moments later to make the scoreline respectable on the night but it was just too much. Ah well onward and upwards as they say. 

Tomorrow is the game that all die hard fans and away scheme members look for when the fixtures are released. A game that can quite literally change a season. The North London derby is our match, our chance to get one over on our nearest neighbours. But more than that a win tomorrow could kick us on into the final few stages of the season. If we win tomorrow we'll be 9 points clear of 5th placed Tottenham incidentally with a game in hand, meaning if all goes well when the fixtures level out we could have a 12 point lead over 5th. Not completely sewn up but so close.

Along with that we're entering our dreaded run where we play Spurs, Chelsea, Swansea (due to cup success), City and Everton between now and April 6th. In these games every win is vital and every point dropped could be the difference. I'd like to say this is a good time to play Tottenham in their current run but in a derby they'll be right up for it to turn it around. They have problems at the back and a few other players who could miss out, but we're hardly at full strength with the news revealed that Ramsey has suffered yet another set back and Ozil is out for up to 6 weeks.

In terms of our team Oxlade-Chamberlain is in contention with starting and with the way he's played recently I really think it's a no brainer. He adds pace and drive to the team which tomorrow could do some serious damage. Cazorla should start and then in the middle we have decisions. I think le boss will go with Rosicky due to experience and he does like a goal against Tottenham. That said he could change things around to include Podolski who I'm sure has a big role to play yet this season. Gibbs is however a doubt which means we could play Monreal there. Kallstrom is fit but I doubt this is an apt time for his debut.

This is a huge game as not only is it a derby but it has connotations for the league too as I mentioned up there. A big performance today and we'll be as prepared as we can for a difficult run. A loss and we'll be hammered in the media and questions will be asked. Let's hope for the former. COYG!