Before we proceed any further, I would like to give my two cents worth and predict a 3 nil win for Arsenal. I don’t really think they are going to push the game if and when they take a two goal lead reminiscent of the match against Wolves in midweek. None of the other teams challenging Arsenal play this week that means that Arsenal can open up an 8 point gap, albeit having played an extra game, and have a real psychological advantage.
The most notable omission will be that of Koscielny who continues to serve his two match ban and will be replaced by Djorou in the center back position. Djorou has had his fair share of critics but I really feel that he stepped up to the plate in the last match and another strong outing would no doubt boost his confidence a lot. Gibbs is expected to be back but I see Santos making another start at left back just to give Gibbs enough time to be a hundred percent fit.
Rosicky will slot back into the attacking midfield role in place of Ramsey (who I still maintain is a very good player in need of confidence) and I’m still unsure of the status of Gervinho’s injury which means that Benayoun may get another start with Chamberlain on the bench. Benayoun has been playing really well in the past couple of matches and being a really effective false winger, gives Arsenal another dimension in attack.
Wigan themselves are on a hot streak with three wins in their past four with a win over United in their last match. Arsenal have to take them seriously especially their blistering counter attacks. They have strong wingers on both sides and a really efficient player in Maloney. Arsenal will have to be on their toes and they need to keep a control of the game throughout. Complacency already cost them against QPR but the match against the Wolves showed that they had indeed learnt from their mistakes. I don’t see Arsenal breaking sweat. A win in second gear is all the more probable.