Team News and Full Preview and Analysis of Villarreal Match

Fabregas has been declared fit to face his nations second team left in the Champions League, Villareal, while Reyes is suspended so he wont be available for selection. Interesting debate has been going on with supporters across the internet forums and in conversations with friends about what formation Arsenal should go for against the Spaniards. Henry has said we have to “go at them” like the premiership, but does this mean reverting to the formation that Wenger likes to keep in the league? My personal opinion is that there is no indication that Wenger would even think to do that, eight clean sheets from a back five that was patched together with about £2 million? Lehmann’s came on a free, Toure for about £250,000…Flamini and Eboue having been poached for minute amounts, and Senderos the same. Even BIG SOL came on a free from across the North London divide of Tottenham… ***SPIT ON THE FLOOR***….

Against Madrid we saw Arsene’s men line up like this:

Lehmann

Eboue Toure Senderos Flamini

Hleb Fabregas Gilberto Ljungberg Reyes

Henry

It was the same against Juventus but with Pires playing for the injured Ljungberg. This formation is more of a 4-1-4-1 if that isn’t too confusing, with Gilberto protecting the defence, picking up the pieces and breaking up play then feeding nice short balls to Fabregas and the rest. Reyes flew up the left wing and dribbled at ease like Kobe Bryant on numerous occasions, winning lots of free kicks after being hacked a good few times. Hleb twisted and changed direction and accelerated to dominate the right wing against Carlos who was playing more like a left winger than a left back. Freddie was a key player and broke to support Henry to get in dangerous positions like we know he can do. Fabregas controlled the midfield with his vision and passing that overall meant that Madrid were unable to get down and really play.

IN THAT GAME, AND THE SECOND LEG, AND THE 2 LEGS AGAINST JUVE it worked every time! Well actually the second leg against Juve it didn’t work in attack so much but that was because the mentality was to protect the lead. We still created chances that Fabregas and Henry should have finished. However this formation only works because the players that are playing in midfield have to work very hard, moving together as a unit the whole time…up and down like a merry go round…Just like they did, but if even one player isn’t fully fit, or is too tired and lazy, it WONT WORK. It leaves gaps in defence, or leaves Henry stranded if there is no support. Also Mr. Va Va Voom would have to be running and chasing down balls, holding up play etc all match. Again it doesn’t work if the lone striker isn’t doing that. Henry was taken off early against West Brom so he should be fresh and full of legs, but if for some reason Thierry doesn’t turn up on the day, all the hard work of the midfield will be worth nothing.

So to sum that up, 4-5-1 will be the best bet if they are all pumped up for it, which they will be! If they are all fully fit and rearing to go, Arsenal will win the tie, that means over both legs not just tomorrow. Wenger has given nothing away about the team he will choose, my best bet is that he will go along with a side like this:

Lehmann

Eboue Toure Senderos Flamini

Hleb Fabregas Gilberto Ljungberg Pires

Henry

It could be with Ljungberg and Pires swapping, or if Wenger really wants to strengthen the spine, he may choose to only play one of those two and stick in Diaby…but I doubt it, not in a game like this, at home. I hope he sticks with this team above, we have been told that Walcott MIGHT get a run out at some time, what a debut that could be! Champions league semi-final at home, not bad for a 17 year old EH…

If Wenger does decide to go for a 4-4-2, it would be Van Persie upfront with Henry but considering Van Persie is still coming back into full flow after his injury, that is quite unlikely. If we are to get a result we will need Gilberto to perform to his best ability to stop his South American “chum” ***SMERK*** Juan Riquelme who is from the “beloved friend” of a nation to Brazil, Argentina. For anybody that isn’t aware….Brazil and Argentina aren’t exactly best friends ….like Liverpool and Everton, Arsenal and Tottenham….Wenger and Mourinho….Ronaldinho and the dentist….

SPEAKING OF WHICH, our noble friend Ronaldinho is apparently not fully fit for tonight’s match against Milan, but obviously he will still play! Barcelona are without Deco and Messi so they need Ronaldinho to be playing without a doubt. Milan are an ageing team that have a superstar of a striker in Shevchenko and a superstar accomplice in Kaka. It will be a tough match, a fascinating affair that many wanted to be the final (OBVIOUSLY NOT ME)…don’t miss the match its on tonight! I had an email asking for a prediction for both matches…I don’t really like predictions but anyway…no harm in guessing! I think it might just be a Barcelona victory or a score draw, but im never really right so don’t quote me on that! If im correct, then you can, but otherwise……Arsenal 2-1 Villarreal??? Leave a comment on what you think the scores will be! Off to get some food before the match, enjoy your night!

  • Highbury06

    lol ronaldinho and dentist! nice one keep it up

  • ArsenalReview.com

    YE I was right….1-0 barca….but Milan should have scored in the first half a few times

  • Eazy E

    Gilardinho hit the post, Sheva should have scored, but Ronaldinho won it for them with the pass.

  • Stu

    You were right with your prediction!

  • Rohan

    Nah man i know 2-1 is a win but it’s VITAL we don’t concede and give away an away goal. 2-0, or 1-0…or 3-0 for that matter. Can’t concede or draw on our last Euro night at Highbury.

  • ROBMBASINGSTOKE

    barcelona did not look like the unbeatable force that everyone is talking about. As a matter of fact, at times they looked poor. A disgraceful display by Milan, almost rivalling that of Juve at highbury left the result in no doubt. I know believe that once we have swept aside Villareal, we have a very very good chance in Paris. barcelona dont look comfortable with teams going forward at pace, which is undoubtedly the main strength in a gooner side containing Henry, Fabregas, Ljungberg, Hleb etc. The future is looking bright for Wenger and the boys….lets just hope that Tel thinks the same.

  • ArsenalReview.com

    I know we CANT CONCEDE, im saying a prediciton, isnt what I want them to get! If I could say what I want, I would say 10-0! Have changed my prediction to 3-1 now, it is last EVER Champions League match at highbury and it is going to be one hell of an atmosphere! Only reason we wont get 3 or so, is if we dont take our chances, but I dont want to tempt fate. It is so hard scoring at their ground, so we need to get a home advantage, and try our best NOT go concede because the away goals are so crucial at this stage. Gonna be one hell of a match!

  • AUA

    we signed lehmann for £1.5 million, flamini cost us about £300,000 in compensation, eboue cost us £1.5 million, senderos cost us a reported £2.5 million but im not not sure about toure. i would say with the £250,000 you say for toure, that would come up to around £6 million, not £2 million as you say. but anyway, COME ON ARSENAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • AUA

    we signed lehmann for £1.5 million, flamini cost us about £300,000 in compensation, eboue cost us £1.5 million, senderos cost us a reported £2.5 million but im not not sure about toure. i would say with the £250,000 you say for toure, that would come up to around £6 million, not £2 million as you say. but anyway, COME ON ARSENAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ArsenalReview.com

    Ye the only thing is, the transfer fee’s arent ever told, they are “undisclosed”…and I wasnt counting the “compensation”, I was talking about STRAIGHT UP INITIAL TRANSFER COSTS, the fee’s you have written are including “after appearances” but anyHOW…not a big deal! Thanks for your comments! Cant wait for the game, I am now changing my prediction to 3-1? Could be wrong, but could be right!

  • ArsenalReview.com

    Ye the only thing is, the transfer fee’s arent ever told, they are “undisclosed”…and I wasnt counting the “compensation”, I was talking about STRAIGHT UP INITIAL TRANSFER COSTS, the fee’s you have written are including “after appearances” but anyHOW…not a big deal! Thanks for your comments! Cant wait for the game, I am now changing my prediction to 3-1? Could be wrong, but could be right!