Arsenal v Schalke Preview

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Post by SamuelJayC Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:59 pm

Arsenal v Schalke 04, Wednesday 24th October, 7.45pm, Champions League, Emirates Stadium, Sky Sports 4

Arsenal v Schalke Preview 9f74c_canaries4_1605241a
Arsene Wenger will want a reaction from his players following their dismal showing versus Norwich

Champions League Group B

1. Arsenal v Schalke Preview 52280 P2 W2 D0 L0 F5 A2 Gd+3 Pts6
2. Arsenal v Schalke Preview 57388 P2 W1 D1 L0 F4 A3 Gd+1 Pts4
3. Arsenal v Schalke Preview 50128 P2 W0 D1 L1 F3 A4 Gd-1 Pts1
4. Arsenal v Schalke Preview 2610 P2 W0 D0 L2 F2 A5 Gd-3 Pts0

Wednesday: Arsenal v Schalke, Montpellier v Olympiacos


Arsenal look to bounce back from shock defeat

"We were not really at our level" Arsene Wenger admitted after watching his side fall to a depressing 1-0 defeat at Norwich City on Saturday evening. Arsenal's second league loss in the Premier League this season was also their worst performance. "I am angry," Wenger told reporters, "We were just poor today." Goalkeeper Vito Mannone's error, which gifted Grant Holt a tap-in for the game's only goal, was pivotal, though, maybe more worryingly, the combinations between the gunners' forward players were absent. Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla, so impressive since joining the club in the summer, were largely anonymous, whilst Olivier Giroud's indifferent start to life in London continued. Gervinho and Aaron Ramsey were perhaps the most infuriating, and Andrey Arshavin failed to ignite Arsenal when appearing from the bench. A minor positive was the impact of Serge Gnabry, the 17-year old Stuttgart-born midfielder.

Arsenal sit 9th in the division, 3 points off the top four, 10 points off leaders Chelsea. "The gap is very unpleasant," Wenger acknowledged. On Wednesday, the Frenchman turns his attentions to Europe and Bundesliga outfit Schalke, when Arsenal will aim to edge even closer to qualification from the Champions League group stage - for the 13th successive season.



Schalke win Revierderby & continue excellent start

It was no wonder Huub Stevens, the Schalke coach, told the press on Saturday "I think I might have a glass of wine tonight." Things are going swimmingly for Die Königsblauen just now. On the weekend Schalke traveled to the Westfalenstadion to tackle champions Borussia Dortmund in the Revierderby. And won. Goals from midfielders Ibrahim Afellay and Marco Hoger secured three points for Stevens' men, a result that leaves the side 3rd in the Bundesliga. The club still sit 7 points off the top, thanks to Bayern Munich's historic start, and have already lost to the runaway leaders 2-0 earlier in September, but it takes special qualities to inflict Dortmund's first home defeat in the league in 13 months.

That defeat to Bayern at the Veltins-Arena remains Schalke's only loss of the campaign, but the club's 2-2 draw with Montpellier in week 2 - conceding in the final minute in Gelsenkirchen - of the Champions League was a disappointment. Though, back-to-back clashes against Arsenal represent an opportunity for the German side to take control of Group B.

Schalke's front 4 of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Ibrahim Afellay, Lewis Holtby and Jefferson Farfan would test most back-lines across Europe, and it's vital Thomas Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker and co are switched on. Experienced striker Huntelaar has 10 goals in 15 games this season, whilst the supporting three behind have netted 7 in the Bundesliga.



Key battle

Per Mertesacker v Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

Arsenal v Schalke Preview GYI0062545244_crop_450x500
Mertesacker and Huntelaar meet during the German's time at Werder Bremen


Whilst Vermaelen and Huntelaar played together for three years during their time at Ajax, you sense Mertesacker will be the man tasked with keeping 'The Hunter' quiet. With Vermaelen more comfortable dealing with the pacier threats of Afellay, Holtby and Farfan, Huntelaar - now 29-years old and still one of Europe's deadliest finishers - is likely to come head to head with old Bundesliga foe Mertesacker. The pair faced each other in the 2010/11 season, when Mertesacker was with Bremen, with Schalke winning 4-0. Yet, incredibly, Huntelaar didn't score (Raul scored a hat-trick instead). In the return game, both didn't play, for differing reasons.

"I think you could behead Klaas and he'd still score goals" Holtby says of Huntelaar, "Klaas finds holes in every opposition defence." 48 goals in 47 games for Schalke last season, 34 goals in 59 caps for Holland, the stats are frightening. His spells at Real Madrid (8 goals in 20 La Liga games) and AC Milan (7 goals in 25 Serie A games) were much maligned despite the decent goal returns, but it's imperative Mertesacker watches Huntelaar closely on Wednesday - the man described by his national team coach, Louis Van Gaal, as "the best player in the penalty area in the world, bar none."



Match Facts

* Arsenal are unbeaten against non-English sides in their last 45 home games.

* Schalke have only won 1 of their last 8 games against English sides, though that came against Arsenal in October 2001, a 3-1 victory ( http://bbc.in/XOBHTE ). Wenger's men had already quailfed for the second phase of the competition that night, but it was The Gunners' third straight away loss at the time.

* Arsenal have the best conversion rate in the Champions League so far, scoring with 36% of their shots.

* All 3 of Aaron Ramsey’s Champions League goals have been netted in the 90th minute or later.

* Schalke have won 14 and lost just four of their last 25 European matches.

* Lukas Podolski faced Schalke 10 times with FC Köln and Bayern Munich, scoring 4 goals.

* Huub Stevens coached Podolski during the 2004/05 season at FC Koln.


Last 3 results

L Norwich 1-0 Arsenal
W West Ham 1-3 Arsenal
W Arsenal 3-1 Olympiacos


W Dortmund 1-2 Schalke
W Oberhausen 1-2 Schalke
W Schalke 3-0 Wolfsburg


Team News

Arsenal

Wenger will be without Szczesny (ankle), Fabianski (back), Gibbs (thigh), Diaby (thigh), Oxlade-Chamberlain (hip), Rosicky (tendon) and Walcott (lung) on Wednesday night, whilst Wilshere, Sagna and Frimpong are all unlikely to feature after participating in Monday night's reserve win against Everton. However, Koscielny (back) returns to the squad.

Wenger will sit in the stands against Schalke, as he completes the final game of a 3-match touchline ban.


Schalke

Draxler (wrist) has traveled with the squad to London, but Papadopulous (ill) has been left at home. Metzelder (knee) is a doubt.

Arsenal v Schalke Preview AbDAONraf8

Arsenal subs - Shea Koscielny Djourou Coquelin Arshavin Gnarby Chamakh

Schalke subs - Hildebrand Kolasinac Jones Moritz Barnetta Draxler Marica


Pre-match views

Arsene Wenger

"I believe that what is important is that we keep facing our game despite the disappointment at Norwich. This team I think has a very strong ambition, a very strong attitude. On the pitch we can show that we have the quality that can justify that ambition. I believe there’s still a lot more to come from this team."

Lukas Podolski

"Schalke is a very strong team, the strongest we will face in the group stage. If we can win this game we will be very well placed. Schalke are a good team though, they are something special at home, with their fans behind them, so we will want the three points at home. I know their coach, Huub Stevens, very well because he coached me for a season when I was at Cologne. They will be tough to beat, but we must go for the 3 points."

Aaron Ramsey

“We know we weren't good enough on the day to win the Norwich game. We had been doing really well this season and in each game we felt like we were growing with confidence, so that was definitely an upset. Hopefully we can turn things around as quickly as possible. We’re playing the best teams from around Europe and we’re all up for it. We are trying to put our stamp on this competition and hopefully we can do that on Wednesday.”

Thumbs up


Last edited by Samuelj29060 on Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:14 pm; edited 18 times in total
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Post by urbaNRoots Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:23 pm

Mannone
Jenkinson Mertesacker Koscielny Vermaelen
Arteta Coquelin
Ramsey Cazorla Podolski
Giroud/Gervinho

That's what I would play.

Santos is too much of a risk to play against a super counter attacking side as Schalke 04. Coquelin because he's a better CM than Ramsey. Ramsey at RW because he actually plays good in that position and we need some extra creativity to provide for Podolski and Giroud/Gervinho. One of Giroud/Gervinho wouldn't mind either as long as they don't both start.
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Post by MJ Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:40 pm

Ramsey on the wing is way more effective than when he's stifled by defensive duties and playing in the middle. If Coquelin can play then that's fantastic as it'll allow us to do that.
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Post by Raptorgunner Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:46 pm

Great work Sam.

No point starting Giroud when he wont get good service. I would go with Gervinho up front. Anything less than 3 points a failure and with a win we can almost guaranty to make it to second round.

----------------------------Mannone

Jenkinson -------------Mertesacker ---------------------Vermaelen-------- Santos

-------------------------------Arteta----------------Coquelin----------------------

Ramsey ---------------------------Cazorla-------------------------------------Podolski

-------------------------------------Gervinho
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Post by Sri Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:12 pm

Raptorgunner wrote:Great work Sam.

No point starting Giroud when he wont get good service. I would go with Gervinho up front. Anything less than 3 points a failure and with a win we can almost guaranty to make it to second round.

----------------------------Mannone

Jenkinson -------------Mertesacker ---------------------Vermaelen-------- Santos

-------------------------------Arteta----------------Coquelin----------------------

Ramsey ---------------------------Cazorla-------------------------------------Podolski

-------------------------------------Gervinho

Good one Sam!

I'd go with the same line-up.

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Post by Wilson37 Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:09 pm

Great preview Sam.. Raptor, thats a good lineup with Ramsey on right and coquelin playing deep allowing Arteta to play more forward... we need Santos to play and get some form considering the fact that Gibbs is injured.. and no more Gervinho please.. i want to watch a match without pulling my hair..
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Post by SamuelJayC Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:49 pm

Thanks for compliments guys. Took me bloody ages to write it! Razz
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Post by EL Patron Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:35 pm

Big game, we need to win both games against Shalke in order to secure Qualification.
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Post by RealGunner Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:20 pm

Fantastic preview as always sam


Tomorrow's game will probably be our hardest home game since barca 2 years ago. Schalke are on hot form, they have quality players being seeked by the likes of real madrid and even us. Their performance was brilliant against Dortmund.

We need to be at our best, that means Norwich chapter needs to be closed and never opened again. Changes should be made. This means gervinho SHOULD NOT be at the RW. LW is barely ok but definitely not RW. Either he is at CF or nowhere.

I would personally play Koscielny at the back instead of Vermaelen but since he is the captain, we can't do much. Marking huntelaar will be CRUCIAL. He might be ineffective for 80 mins but will pop up with a goal when u don't expect him to.

Santos vs Farfan will be a scary battle. Arteta vs Holtby will be interesting.

I'd personally go with this team

-------------------------------------Mannone---------------------------------------

Jenkinson----------------Mertesacker-------Koscielny----------------Santos

---------------------------Arteta--------------Coquelin---------------------------

Arshavin---------------------------Cazorla------------------------------Podolski

-------------------------------------Giroud--------------------------------------------

yea i would start Arshavin. Eventhough it might be a very unpopular opinion. I still believe in him. And he surely can't be worse than gervinho. If not him then ramsey would do

I think Gnabry will be on the bench once more.

2-2 is my prediction
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Post by DuringTheWar Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:36 pm

so coquelin is better than ramsey then? both equally average imo
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Post by RealGunner Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:58 pm

no, but he actually has a role lol. Ramey is in a limbo playing at CM. Coquelin can allow arteta to move forward
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Post by Sina Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:18 pm

Great preview as always Sam

I also hope Coquelin starts would go with same Line Up as Raptor
think he should watch Holtby closely
im worried Verm would get dragged outta position by Huntelaar
with their full back very supportive going forward
our wide men should work hard
maybe it will be one those games our full backs will play with conservative approach
really worried if we concede first goal
hearing they keep their wide men high up to offer great chance on counters
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Post by Eman Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:02 am

Interesting how so many people have gone from criticizing the idea of Ramsey playing wide to thinking it's his best position hmm

I want to see Arshavin start on the right with Poldi on the left. I think Gervinho would be more likely to thrive against a team that doesn't park the bus, but I'd still start Giroud up front. Other than that, business as usual. Let's f- shit up Cool
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Post by RealGunner Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:09 am

Ramsey's best position is CAM in a 4-2-3-1 or a CM in a 4-3-3 formation where the other 2 mids are Diaby and Frimpong imo.

The reason we want him to play on the wing is cause there is no other better option
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Post by MJ Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:25 am

Eman wrote:Interesting how so many people have gone from criticizing the idea of Ramsey playing wide to thinking it's his best position hmm

I want to see Arshavin start on the right with Poldi on the left. I think Gervinho would be more likely to thrive against a team that doesn't park the bus, but I'd still start Giroud up front. Other than that, business as usual. Let's f- shit up Cool

Him being more effective on the wing doesn't necessarily mean it's his best position Razz

I dunno how likely Arsha starting is but that could potentially be great idea. Risky though since he was rusty towards the end of Norwich.
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Post by SamuelJayC Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:18 pm

I don't see Arshavin starting this game due to his lack of defensive work, particularly against Farfan & Afellay (if they play).

Meanwhile, Schalke are training in Regents Park..

Arsenal v Schalke Preview A597YHYCAAA6Z0p

I've played 11-a-side there before, great pitches, although, in the winter, they can look dodgy...like in the pic Razz

Also: Wenger & Ramsey press conference > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riBeRkoBh-4
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Post by urbaNRoots Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:36 pm

If John Cross from 'The Mirror' is to believed we'll start with this one:

Mannone
Jenkinson Mertesacker Vermaelen Santos
Coquelin Arteta
Ramsey Cazorla Podolski
Gervinho

Wenger is back :bow: :bow:
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Post by Raptorgunner Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:51 pm

urbaNRoots wrote:If John Cross from 'The Mirror' is to believed we'll start with this one:

Mannone
Jenkinson Mertesacker Vermaelen Santos
Coquelin Arteta
Ramsey Cazorla Podolski
Gervinho

Wenger is back :bow: :bow:

We will win the game with this line up, I was afraid we might lose the game.

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Post by Rev Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:43 pm

Agreed with Urban's and Raptor's formation. Ramsey starting makes sense for once where workrate'll be crucial in the outcome of this game.

Santos starting largely depends if Koscielny is deemed fit enough, because if he is, there's no one else I would start on the left flank than Vermaelen.

We need to remain in great defensive shape for this one. That means no kamikaze attacking from the fullbacks ala Santos and no ball watching like against Norwich. That sh*t was just frustrating.

I don't care how we win, if it's a Schalke *bleep* up from the corner I'll take it any day. We need to get that 1st place in the group so we can concentrate on the league.

Pumped up for this one. bounce
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Post by SamuelJayC Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:08 pm

Prefer Gervinho rather than Giroud at the minute anyway, so it's good news.

Giroud has just not been good enough in the opening months overall. He looks to me like someone who might need 2 seasons.
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Post by urbaNRoots Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:21 pm

Giroud has been "good enough" every time he didn't play alongside Gervinho and the other away around.

When they are both on the pitch it just doesn't work. At the moment I'm preferring one of the two on the bench.
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Post by RealGunner Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:56 pm

We need a Good crosser on the right, gervinho ain't that. think Theo and giroud can click. But they hardly play together.

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Post by Raptorgunner Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:00 pm

RealGunner wrote:We need a Good crosser on the right, gervinho ain't that. think Theo and giroud can click. But they hardly play together.


Giroud has to change up his game, if he dont change he will be benched by Gervinho.
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Post by Chippy Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:05 pm

Great Write up.

Am expecting a reaction from the Norwich game and hoping we can get a win tonight although I think our opponents are well organised with no little talent.

Am no fan of Gervinho but I think he operates better through the middle and as no one in the team can seem to get a good cross in, I think Gervinho is the better option to Giroud.

There was a distinct lack of leadership on the field on Sat and will be looking for TV, Per, Arteta, Pod to lead from the front tonight. We need to show some character, something that was distinctly lacking on Sat, and something that we had been showing prior to that, e.g. Man City, Liverpool, West Ham. I thought the team was growing together nicely up until Sat so will be interesting to see our performance tonight and against QPR when we should have 3/4 players back from injury and have Sagna, Frimp and Jack pushing for a place.

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Post by SamuelJayC Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:14 pm

Arsenal v Schalke Preview A5_NFoLCEAAFbQL
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