Reading VS Arsenal Preview by AH
Well what should we expect from Arsenal this week? One moment we are winning 2-0 against current table rivals West Brom and then the next moment we lose to League 2 side Bradford City in the Capital One Cup!
Next in the league we face the team that we beat in an enthralling 7-5 win in order to progress and meet Bradford in the Capital One Cup. I highly doubt it will be quite the same game on Monday night at the Madjeski stadium but you never know.
Arsenal welcome back Olivier Giroud to the first team after he missed Tuesday’s game with a back injury. Laurent Koscielny and Theo Walcott have reportedly returned to training but are highly unlikely to play any part in the game.
After 6 days rest I would expect Arsenal to line up with a fairly similar first XI that played Bradford.
Sagna Mertesacker Vermaelen Gibbs
Gervinho Giroud Podolski
I personally would drop Gervinho after several dire performances in recent weeks however this is the line-up I expect so what can we expect from this team?
Arsenal will look to control the midfield battle and if the passing geniuses we have in midfield are on top form and in sync should be enough to outplay the Royals who will look to bully us with strength and determination. They will be looking for revenge after that 7-5 loss and on top of the team’s performance against Bradford they will be going out for the win as they know we will be vulnerable.
I am particularly worried about Reading’s threat on the counter attack and that is how I expect them to generate the majority of their chances. They can be good from set pieces, which is another area that Arsenal are prone to being at fault on, however a strong performance from Mertesacker and Vermaelen should be enough to keep the likes of Jason Roberts and Adam Le Fondre out of the Arsenal goal.
On the back of recent performances and the current determination of the team, I am predicting a 1-1 draw; however we will need to go all out to win this game, as with Spurs winning we are dangerous close to being left behind in the race for top 4. Although it’s still close and a win for Arsenal and a West Brom defeat would take us at least 6th and that is the position that we held at Christmas last year.
The performances at the moment aren’t great at the moment and it’s difficult to see where this team is going however stick with them and be ready to support the team on Monday! I know I will be!