Arsenal vs Reading preview, match line up and score prediction by KJ
It’s been a long two weeks since the Arsenal last played and it was probably the worst time to get the international break. Arsenal were back to winning ways with back to back wins against Bayern Munich and Swansea. Tottenham were faltering, losing three games on the bounce bringing them to only 4 points above Arsenal with an extra game already played.
However, this is probably the easiest game for Arsenal to build upon in this crucial part of the season.
Reading have struggled throughout the season and are odds on to be relegated. However, they’ve sacked former Arsenal player, Brian McDermott for former Southampton manager, Nigel Adkins. This could prove difficult for the Gunners as there is no doubt Reading’s players will be raring to go and prove to their new manager that they can still stay in the Premier league.
We are quite clearly going to have the majority of the possession. We are statistically the best possession team in the league and are playing against the worst possession team in the league. However, we could see two banks of four for the majority of the match and hence our passing needs to be top notch to break down Reading as they sit holding on for the draw.
Jenkinson – Mertesacker – Koscielny – Monreal
Arteta – Ramsey
Chamberlain – Cazorla – Podolski
The defence pretty much picks itself at the moment. Wenger confirmed that Sagna should be fit for the match but I’ll be absolutely livid if he gets picked ahead of the Corporal. Sagna hasn’t justified his place at all this season and Jenkinson is playing some of the best football in his (albeit short) career.
Wilshere will still be out for two weeks and Diaby has unfortunately had a major setback meaning Ramsey is the only logical option to partner Arteta. This is a perfectly fine move as Ramsey has been in some fine form and is finding his feet in an Arsenal shirt again.
Walcott was injured on international duties and I personally want to see Chamberlain to replace him. He was very good against Swansea and he‘ll be even more devastating against a defensively poor Reading side. Arguments could be made about Gervinho starting but I think he’d be more effective in the final 20 minutes against tired legs.
Most are predicting an Arsenal rampage but I feel we’ll play a lot more conserved and Reading will be right up for this. My prediction is a close fought 2 – 0 to the Arsenal.