Arsene Wenger was handed a massive boost as he prepared to head north with his Arsenal squad to face Liverpool at Anfield. Not only do the Gunners need to banish the painful memories of last season, we badly need the three points in order to close to within just a game of our top four rivals Man United and to keep the gap to the top no bigger than 10 points.
Just like last season, however, the Arsenal boss is struggling to cope with injury problem on top of injury problem, so the news reported by The Mirror that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott passed late fitness tests and have travelled to Liverpool with the squad is a huge boost.
I don’t expect that Walcott will feature much, if at all, and he is unlikely to make a big difference, but it is great to have the flying England forward close to a full comeback almost a year after we lost him. But the inclusion of the Ox is simply massive and could make the difference between us winning and losing.
Without Chambo, the Gunners were looking very weak and vulnerable in the middle, but his pace, power and energy should stop us being overrun as were last season and that gives our attacking players the platform to expose Liverpool’s shaky defence.
The Ox needs to be disciplined in that central role but he did that brilliantly against Newcastle last weekend and if he can do the same job today, I am confident of an Arsenal win. How about you guys?