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Friday, 30 March 2012

QPR (a) preview

Theo - best form of his career

I'll keep this brief as I am severely pushed for time right now. Sadly work and other commitments have no regard for the important stuff in life, such as watching and writing about The Arsenal.

We go in to the game at QPR tomorrow on the back of this magnificent run of victories. On paper we should be walking all over the opposition from beginning to end. But this is Premier League football, and things are simply not that straightforward. Rangers are in real trouble at the bottom end of the table and need to get something, anything, from every game. I've never liked Neil Warnock but I can not understand why he was booted out of Loftus Road earlier this season, especially to be replaced by an utter cretin like Mark Hughes. It has been no surprise to me that QPR have struggled even more since that muppet took over the reins.
The team news for Arsenal is that Koscielny "should" be fit. The fact that there is even the remotest note of uncertainty tells me that his problem may be a bit more serious than we were initially led to believe. Abou Diaby has suffered another setback, it would appear, so Arsene says the squad remains as last week - I will assume that means Carl Jenkinson drops back out of the 18 having got a late call-up to the bench against Aston Villa.
QPR will be without the suspended Djibril Cisse for the game. However, they will have Bobby Zamora in the side I think. We've faced Zamora twice this season already and, in both games, he gave Thomas Vermaelen and co one hell of a tough time. He dominated Vermaelen in the home fixture, and then popped up with the winner at Craven Cottage. I find it very hard to take as I don't rate Zamora at all. I hope he doesn't shine quite so much tomorrow and that Vermaelen is able to handle him a lot better than he did at our place. Elsewhere in their team I see Joey Barton being recalled to the starting eleven. Barton is a Mark Hughes kind of player and this is the kind of game that they will want his particular "qualities" in the middle of the pitch. Barton will be winding people up and kicking anything that moves, in a similar style to his Manager (though Hughes was more of an elbows man than a kicker). Alex Song, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky will need their wits about them throughout the game and try to avoid getting involved with the odious Barton.
Ultimately if we play our game, and play it well, we will have another win tomorrow. If we have an off day, or allow ourselves to get sucked in to a "fight" we will struggle to get the victory. One other note of caution - the referee is Mike Dean, the man who celebrated Spurs' opening goal against us the other week (look it up on Youtube). 

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