With Arsenal the target of the week for many papers, particularly the Mail, who have decided to lead a campaign for Adebayor to get banned (probably because he’s an ‘orrible forriner), it is no surprise to see them talk about the ‘latest blow to a reeling club’ that is Kolo Toure’s groin injury over in Ghana.
Toure was taken off during the Ivorians comfortable victory over Benin, which all but confirmed he and Eboue would remain for the quarter finals, but initial suggestions are that his injury is a tweak or minor pull, which would affect his country more than his club. With the Ivory Coast top of their group after two wins, he is now unlikely to play in their final game, while the full extent of his injury is examined. But given that these injuries are often three week affairs, he may be fit just in time for his return to England. The risk is that he aggravates the injury being rushed back for the later stages of the cup.
Back to the immediate football, and Newcastle arrive in town for the FA Cup this weekend, and with the Kevin Keegan effect in place, we’ll have to be exceptionally wary. Team selection will be interesting, as Wenger is probably still considering resting a couple of players ahead of the Premiership match against the same opponents in midweek.
Lehmann may play, while the defence of Gallas, Senderos, Clichy and Sagna picks itself. Cesc may be rested after playing 75 minutes on Tuesday, so Flamini may return alongside Diaby or Gilberto, with Rosicky and probably Hleb wide.
Up front, I would be very surprised to see Adebayor start after his behaviour on Tuesday, so I’d go with Eduardo and a fired up Bendtner.
Every time Arsenal have been knocked back this season there has been an immediate response. I expect nothing less this time.