With Wenger (probably) telling his troops to pretend it’s cup week all over again, we can only hope for two things:
1) Baptista (who starts) thinks it’s the Carling Cup, and takes his tally for good performances this season to, er, three.
2) If Rosicky gets on, Liverpool let him run to the edge of the box again, silently mocking his inability to shoot from range. The boy can’t hit them, right?
On a serious note, Gilberto is out (bad news), as is Aliadiere (spot the tumbleweed), so the midfield could get crowded, as without an out and out winger they might be fighting for space. Having said that, an uninspiring draw is for once not a bad result – with Liverpool a point back having played a game more today is about avoiding defeat. A win would of course be fantastic, effectively ending the third-fourth battle, but not required.
Fingers crossed Adebayor can continue his run of scoring in big games, after his long suspension, and there’s certainly a lot of pressure on the big man for the rest of the season – with Henry and Van Persie out of it and Baptista and Aliadiere misfiring, not to mention the lack of goals from midfield, he needs to get himself in the right places.
Looks like a 4-4-1-1 today, which is a decent formation for the players available. Diaby and Baptista need to drive forward and make sure Ade is not isolated up top as used to happen too much in away games.
I predict 1-1.