Arsenal vs Olympiakos, match preview, Communication is key.

My stupid laptop has been attacked by virus, rendering me unable to post anything for the past few days, and might continue to for the next few days. For now, the simple Macbook of Mrs Bystander would have to suffice, provided she doesn’t have any use for it, which is rare.

Later on sees Arsenal taking on Olympiakos at the Emirates, with the biggest smallest squad ever.

Why so? Because injuries are in the season it seems, as Gervinho, Walcott, and Koscielny joins Jack Wilshere on the treatment table. Though it seems the worst of the lot has to be Jack Wilshere as the youngster has undergone surgery, and might return at the earliest in February. Le Boss hasclarified that the injury was incurred during international duty, blasted international games.

Being the home team, and possessing one of the most in-form striker right now, Arsenal should win this game. However, this Arsenal team tonight might have a weakness, in the form of having too many new players starting.

Injuries have resulted in Arsenal being short on all fronts.The way i see it, Song would be dropped back into centre back, whereas Coquelin or Frimpong might start in midfield. In attack, Walcott and Gervinho absence could see Oxlade Chamberlain starting.

Should Arsene intend to replace our injured players with like-for-like replacements, we would most probably see a team like this:

Szczesny, Sagna, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Song, Ramsey, Coquelin, Arteta, Arshavin, Van Persie, OX-Chamberlain”

As such, today’s game means that we still have a team trying to gel, up against a squad who has the same team which won the Greek championship last season. Football may be an universal game, however, being familiar with playing style is still critical for attacks and defense to be work.

The danger of this line up, is that the players are unfamiliar with each other. If you noticed, Mertesacker, Coquelin, Arteta and Chamberlain are all only playing in their first season for Arsenal. GIbbs could also be included in this category, as he was injured too often last season, and have been unable to play for a substantial time in the first team. That would make it 5 players who are still trying to click with team.

The backline for starters, sees 3 changes from our backline last season. Mertesacker is expected to co-ordinate his line with the others, even though their playing time together has probably been less than 5 games. In midfield, Arteta is still trying to find his feet, as his partners have been rotating due to the endless injuries and suspension. Same goes for up front, as Van Persie has to contend with changing striker partners too.

Without playing together for long, the players are unable to know when to stay up high when defending, or to make runs into the box to receive passes. All these things comes with longer playing time together, as players grow familiar with each others style of plays and runs.

Communication is the key tonight. The players have to talk, and understand what each individual wants. The lack of communication might see Szczesny coming to claim a ball which Mertesacker proceeds to head, and could potentially result in goals conceded. Talk, and the goals will come, talk, and the back line would work seamlessly.

Barring any unpleasant surprises, and if any squad Arsene puts out tonight is able to communicate, the Gunners should be able to come away with a 2-0 win.

update: Click for stream sop://broker.sopcast.com:3912/106723 Bloodzeed HQ Sopcast

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