Fantasy Injury Focus - Arsenal

The great entertainers, and the great source of fantasy points over the years.  Also, a great source of injury frustration as year after year players come in and disappear into the training room only to reappear briefly and inevitably too early, finding themselves injured all over again.

The latest blow is of course Robin van Persie being ruled out for two months with ankle ligament damage. But that's by no means the extent of Arsenal's woes. They were already missing Bendtner, Walcott, Vela, Djourou, Clichy, Denilson and added Diaby (calf) and Gibbs (foot or ankle, depending on who you read) to the list after their latest international commitments. And Arsenal have only just gotten Rosicky and Nasri back from their long-term injuries.

So what can we expect from Arsenal against Sunderland? Wenger is very stubborn when it comes to formations. He stuck with 4-4-2 forever, and will likely use his new 4-3-3 regardless of who is available to play. Almunia is entrenched in goal again. The back four likely is Sagna - Vermaelan - Gallas - Silvestre, though another option would be to bring Senderos into the center of defence and move Gallas to left back where he has been unhappy, but very effective for Arsenal and Chelsea before that.

The midfield three will likely be Cesc playing in front of Song and Nasri with Nasri replacing Diaby and having more license to get forward. Ramsey would also be an option, having played really well against Wolves. The front three would seemingly have to be Arshavin - Eduardo - Rosicky.

Eboue is a wildcard in all of this. He would give the squad more balance as Nari, Rosicky, Eduardo and Arsahvin all favor the left if they can't play through the middle. Maybe, just maybe, Wenger does go back to the 4-4-2 with Rosicky and Eboue on the wings and Arshavin and Eduardo pushed up front together.

However they line-up, Sunderland probably won't have to face a barage of crosses or long punts into the box. This will be a diminutive team with Song the long 6-footer. Arsenal may win tons of corner kicks, but I would be stunned if they were to convert any of them. Expect lots of CWs, but very few SCs.  On the other hand, Reid may have a big day if he gets the chance to aim crosses at Bent and Jones (and Turner et al coming up from the back).


  1. Anonymous1:00 AM

    jones injured..turner banned

  2. Anonymous1:01 AM

    sorry..both banned

  3. Thanks, Anon. I had missed that.

    It's been a long int'l break.

  4. Anonymous3:03 PM

    Isn't anyone gonna comment about the crappy new yahoo soccer page?