The past week was so horrendously terrible. One of the worst weeks of my life. The excruciating wait for the results of an all important exam, and the crushing that you take, when you realize you have done horribly, despite working like a zombie towards acing it. My blogging has taken a sabbatical, and it’s about time I gather myself, and start afresh.
Nothing better than Arsenal kicking some shit out of Na$ri and Co., to make my mood better, and start seeing life in a new light. It has been a week since the Gunners’ played, and surely the preparations must be at full pelt, considering the number of games we play over the ext few days, till the end of the month.
Let’s get straight to the chase. This is not going to be one of my usual previews, with the scoop of the week.
Manchester City come into the game with a reasonable run of form. The closest rivals to title chasing Manchester United, they have had to slug it out to gather wins, in order to stay in contention.
After losing 3-2 to United, in rather controversial circumstances, and having faced much flak for not picking up a single win in their second consecutive doomed Champions League adventure, the Sky Blues have also had to endure several disciplinary problems, none more dissected than that of Italian maverick striker Mario Balotelli.
Even after pictures of a spat between the striker and manager Roberto Mancini surfaced in the newspaper, and despite reports that the manager has had enough of him, Mancini recently revealed that Balotelli would be given a 100 more chances if required. Bizzare. All this after he recently challenged the club in a tribunal against a punishment of two weeks wages for having collected too many suspensions in the previous season.
City collected wins over Newcastle and Reading, the latter being a hard fought battle against the relegation threatened side, before being condemned to defeat by one of their former players, Adam Johnson, at Sunderland, and since going on to beat Norwich, despite going down to 10 men, and a 3-0 beating of Stoke.
However, the Citizens come into this clash with some absentees. Sergio Aguero is injured, with a knee problem, and out for atleast one more week. Kolo Toure and Yaya Toure are both away for international duty at the African Cup of Nations. Aleksandr Kolarov should return from injury. Messrs Samir Na$ri is suspended. Maicon, Micah Richards and Jack Rodwell are all injured.
Arsenal’s squad seems to have visibly thinned down, now with er, Marrouane Chamakh, Johan Djourou leaving on loans, while Gervinho leaving on African Cup of Nations Duty. Phew! New signings Abou Diaby, yes, may feature tonight, after coming unscathed in an U-21 game. Biggest concern will however be Olivier Giroud, who had his knees scraped against Swansea. Ouch! He is rated as 50-50.
Here is how I expect the teams to line up.
Last season, Arsenal attacked City right from the word go, and stifled their expensively assembled squad of opponents with some dogged defending, and pressing. City barely mustered a shot on target, while Arsenal created plenty of chances, but took few, eventually winning it through an Arteta wonder strike.
Earlier in the season, the Gunners outplayed City again at the Etihad, and probably should have had all 3 points, but settled for one, with Vincent Kompany declaring that Arsenal was the toughest team they had faced in the season.
It will take much more of the same effort and desire, to get a victory today, which will surely go a long way in breaking into the top 4.
Enjoy the game wherever you are!
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————– While you are about it, follow Blazing Cannons on twitter. @blazingcannons
And do like, the Facebook page as well.
Go ahead you lazy bum, that’s all I ask of you!