Posts Tagged ‘ kieran gibbs ’

Arsenal vs Everton EPL Preview: In-form sides gear up for crucial top four race clash

Arteta battling





Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs
Ramsey, Arteta, Wilshere
Walcott, Giroud, Cazorla


Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines
Mirallas, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar

Out-of-favour goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny looks set to return to the Arsenal starting XI, with Arsene Wenger admitting Lukasz Fabianski is a “major doubt” after taking a kick to the ribs against Norwich.

Per Mertesacker could return from suspension to the starting line-up in place of Thomas Vermaelen, who along with Nacho Monreal will challenge left-back Kieran Gibbs for the team.

Theo Walcott’s return from injury could see the forward start on the right flank in place of Gervinho, while manager Arsene Wenger faces a choice between keeping Aaron Ramsey in midfield and naming Santi Cazorla on the left flank, or moving the playmaker infield and adding Lukas Podolski on the left.

Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) is doubtful and could miss out along with long-term casualty Abou Diaby (knee).

Everton have no new injury concerns and could name the side that beat QPR on Saturday, with Seamus Coleman set to continue at right-back while Tony Hibbert lacks fitness after a long-term injury.

Striker Victor Anichebe has started the Toffees’ last four league matches and could again lead the line ahead of the recently returned Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar, but Nikica Jelavic is another option.

  • Arsenal have reached the Champions League last 16 in each of the last 12 seasons and are currently third, a point ahead of rivals Tottenham and Chelsea, who have a game in hand.
  • The Gunners have won eight of their last ten games and are second only to runaway leaders Manchester United in the form table.
  • Since Christmas, Arsenal have scored in every game bar the 2-0 loss to Manchester City. When Arsene Wenger’s side have scored first in the league this season, they have never lost a game.
  • Each of Olivier Giroud’s last ten Premier League goals this season have been scored at the Emirates Stadium.
  • Everton have not finished in the top four since 2005 and are currently in sixth place, three points from Chelsea and Tottenham and four from the Gunners as they seek to qualify for the Champions League.
  • The attacking contribution of the returning Marouane Fellaini has been vital for David Moyes’ men this campaign. The Belgium midfielder’s goals and assists have won the Merseysiders 12 points in the league.
  • The Toffees have scored the joint-highest amount of headed goals (13) in this year’s Premier League. The other side are league leaders Manchester United.
  • Everton have failed to beat Arsenal in the sides’ 11 most recent encounters, but went close earlier this season in the 1-1 draw between the two at Goodison Park in November.

Swansea City vs Arsenal EPL Preview: Hosts look to make it three wins on the trot against Gunners

Arteta battling


Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup will be without defender Chico Flores (ankle) and Kemy Agustien (thigh) for the clash with Arsenal at the Liberty Stadium.

Midfielder Leon Britton is expected to be fit after missing Saturday’s defeat to West Brom with a hip injury, while striker Luke Moore should also make the squad after a calf problem.

Defender Neil Taylor (ankle) made a first appearance since September when appearing in a Under-21s clash in midweek but this game may come to early for the Welshman.

Arsene Wenger will be without Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Bacary Sagna (knee) until at least the end of March, whilst Lukas Podolski (ankle) missed the midweek win in Munich and may once again be unavailable.

Nacho Monreal returns to the first-team squad after being ineligable for the club’s Champions League campaign and could replace Kieran Gibbs at left-back. Lukas Fabianski should retain the No.1 shirt, with Wenger claiming that regular first-choice Wojciech Szczesny is suffering from “mental fatigue”.

  • Swansea City and Arsenal have met each other three times already this season (once in the league, twice in the FA Cup), with one win apiece and one draw.
  • The Swans have beaten Arsenal in their last two Premier League meetings, their last double over Arsenal coming in the 1981-82 season.
  • Swansea have won their last three home games on the bounce.
  • Laudrup’s men have scored four goals against Arsenal this season, with Michu bagging three of them.
  • Arsenal have lost two of their last three away matches in the Premier League.
  • If only second-half results counted, the Gunners would be top of the Premier League table with 54 points.
  • Olivier Giroud’s  third-minute goal against Bayern Munich ended a personal scoring drought of 497 minutes.
  • Six of the seven goals scored in games between these two sides this season have come in the final 10 minutes.

Tottenham vs Arsenal EPL Preview: All eyes on brilliant Bale for north London derby

West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League


Clint Dempsey (calf) only has a small change of featuring for Spurs after missing the 3-2 win over West Ham on Monday, although Tom Huddlestone (knee) should be back to compete for a place in the hosts’ starting XI.

Younes Kaboul (knee) should still be out for Andre Villas-Boas’ side with no set return date yet, while Sandro (knee) is out for the season.

Bacary Sagna (knee) is expected to miss out for the Gunners, with youngster Carl Jenkinson set to replace him at right-back.

Abou Diaby (thigh) is 50/50 for the clash after coming off during the 1-0 win over Aston Villa on 23 February, while Kieran Gibbs (thigh) is definitely out after being forced off during the 2-2 draw with Liverpool on 30 January.

  • Tottenham have lost only one of their last seven Premier League home games against bitter rivals Arsenal.
  • Spurs have been in a winning position in both of their last two games against the Gunners, but have gone on to lose each game 5-2.
  • Gareth Bale is only the eighth different Tottenham player to score over 15 Premier League goals in a season.
  • Andre Villas-Boas’ side have scored 11 goals from outside the area – more than any other top flight side this season.
  • Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale are the only players from Europe’s big five leagues to score six league goals from outside the box this campaign.
  • Spurs had 13 shots on target against West Ham on Monday – only Chelsea (15 vs Aston Villa) have had more in a league game this season.
  • Arsenal have 13 points from the past five Premier League games – a total only equalled by league leaders Manchester United.
  • Olivier Giroud  has had 26 headed attempts at goal this season – more than any other player in the Premier League.
  • No side in the top five European Leagues has averaged fewer fouls per game than Spurs (9.7) or Arsenal (9.8) this season.

Arsenal vs Aston Villa EPL Preview: Gunners look to bounce back after successive cup defeats at the Emirates

Arsene Wegner





Jenkinson, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Monreal
Wilshere, Arteta, Cazorla
Podolski, Giroud, Walcott


Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett
Delph, Westwood, Ireland
Weimann, Agbonlahor

Arsenal will be without Bacary Sagna (knee) after he injured himself in the 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in midweek, so Carl Jenkinson should start at right-back, with the Englishman’s three-match suspension having run its course.

Kieran Gibbs (thigh) remains sidelined so Nacho Monreal will return at left-back after being cup-tied for the Champions League tie. Per Mertesacker will therefore probably make way and Thomas Vermaelen will move back to centre-back.

Olivier Giroud could start the game after he was introduced from the bench during the week, while Mikel Arteta will face competition from a fit again Abou Diaby in central midfield.

Aston Villa, meanwhile, could have Charles N’Zogbia (knee) back, although he may start from the bench. Richard Dunne (groin and hip) suffered a setback in his recovery, so is unlikely to play, elsewhere in defence, Chris Herd (foot) is also out.

Mark Albrighton (foot) and Gary Gardner (knee) remain long-term absentees, while Fabian Delph came through unscathed against West Ham so should continue in the starting XI.

Paul Lambert may also have Gabriel Agbonlahor and Karim El Ahmadi back in contention after they missed the clash with the Hammers with illness.

  • Arsenal have only scored one goal fewer (50) than they had at this point of their ‘Invincibles’ season of 2003-04.
  • Arsene Wenger’s side have created fewer goalscoring chances from corners than any other side this season.
  • The Gunners have won only two of their last six home games against yhe Villans in the Premier League.
  • Defeat to the Midlands outfit would be the north Londoners’ third home loss in a row, the first time they have been on such a run at the Emirates Stadium.
  • Aston Villa have only scored 16 goals in 20 away trips to Arsenal in the Premier League.
  • Christian Benteke  has now scored in five successive appearances for Aston Villa in all competitions.
  • Villa have been shown more yellow cards than any other Premier League team this season (54), while Arsenal have been shown the least (24).

Arsenal vs Bayern Munich UCL Preview: Wenger looking for response after shock FA Cup exit

David Alaba





Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen
Arteta, Ramsey

Walcott, Podolski, Cazorla


Lahm, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba
Martinez, Schweinsteiger
Muller, Kroos, Ribery

With Nacho Monreal cup-tied, Kieran Gibbs (thigh) injured and Andre Santos loaned out to Gremio last week, Thomas Vermaelen is likely to be utilised at left-back by Arsene Wenger.

Mikel Arteta is still not fully fit after recovering from injury and, as exclusively revealed by on Monday.
Javi Martinez (toe) missed Bayern’s last game against Wolfsburg, but should return for the runaway Bundesliga leaders.

Claudio Pizarro (illness) and Holger Badstuber (knee) will miss out for the visitors, while Jerome Boateng is suspended.

  • Arsenal and Bayern Munich have met four times before in the Champions League, with the Gunners victorious just once.
  • Their last meeting was also at the Champions League last-16 stage, which the German side won 3-2 on aggregate in 2004-05.
  • Olivier Giroud has four assists in the group stages of the Champions League this season; only Zlatan Ibrahimovic has more with five.
  • Lukas Podolski has scored three goals from three shots on target in the Champions League this term.
  • Bayern Munich had the most different goalscorers in the group stage, with nine.
  • The German side also conceded the fewest shots on target in the group stage, with just 17 against.
  • The Bavarians last won in England in April 2001, with a 1-0 quarter-final victory over Manchester United on course to winning the tournament.
  • Mario Gomez (pictured, right) has scored 25 goals in 26 Champions League starts.

Slumping Players Who Need to Step Up in Round of 16

Ball passing De Gea


As the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 begins this week, international soccer fans are coming ever closer to determining the top club team in the world.

But moving beyond this round requires teams to step up their respective games even further, and that means that struggling players across the board will have to improve their play if their teams want to go anywhere.

James Rodriguez of Porto has been shooting, but not quite scoring. In 538 minutes of Champions League play, he’s put 16 attempts on target, third-most in the league, but has only scored one goal. The only two players to shoot more—Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi—have six and five goals, respectively.

But at least Rodriguez is putting the majority of his attempts on target. Three players—Shakhtar Donetsk’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria, and Juventus’ Mirko Vucinic—are tied for the lead among remaining teams with 11 off-target attempts apiece. Di Maria’s struggles are perhaps the worst, as only five of his 16 attempts have gone on net, and he has no goals to show for them.

On defense, Arsenal is dealing with some serious issues related to injury. Captain Thomas Vermaelen may be forced to play beyond the health of his ankle, if he’s even able to play at all. With two ankle injections already this season in hopes of avoiding surgery, Vermaelen’s play is bound to suffer. Injuries to Kieran Gibbs and Laurent Koscielny may put him in the difficult position of trying to step up, regardless.

In net, Manchester United’s David De Gea has been dealing with intense scrutiny over his adjustment to the team. But manager Sir Alex Ferguson is backing his keeper, insisting that De Gea’s struggles will be over soon.

Fans must be hoping that Ferguson is right, as Manchester United heads to EstadioSantiago Bernabeu to face Real Madrid on Wednesday. Facing Cristiano Ronaldo on visiting soil will prove De Gea’s toughest test yet. But if the 22-year-old can stand up to one of the world’s best, perhaps there’s hope for everyone on this list.

Sunderland vs Arsenal EPL Preview: Inconsistent Black Cats host injury-stricken Gunners

Giroud celebrating a goal




Gardner, Bramble, O’Shea, Rose
Larsson, N’Diaye, Vaughan, Johnson

Arsenal FC
Sagna, Mertesacker, Miquel, Monreal
Arteta, Wilshere
Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski

Martin O’Neill will be without Carlos Cuellar (hamstring) from the heart of his defence, so Titus Bramble will continue alongside John O’Shea.

The Irishman will captain the team in Lee Cattermole’s (knee) absence, although the Stockton-born midfielder could make a return to the bench in this game.

Wes Brown (knee) is a long-term absentee for the Black Cats and Danny Graham is likely to once again feature from the bench following his deadline day move from Swansea.

Arsene Wenger is facing something of a crisis in central defence with Laurent Koscielny (calf) doubtful and Thomas Vermaelen (ankle) ruled out. If the Frenchman fails to recover it could mean a rare appearance for Ignasi Miquel or Sebastien Squillaci.

The Gunners are also without Kieran Gibbs (thigh) and Francis Coquelin (hamstring), while Aaron Ramsey is doubtful after missing Wales’ midweek friendly with Austria due to a calf strain.

Theo Walcott was substituted in England’s win over Brazil after a heavy collision with Julio Cesar, but is expected to be fine for the clash at the Stadium of Light.

  • Sunderland have won five of their last nine Premier League games (losing the other four) after winning just four of their previous 29 (drawing 13 and losing 12).
  • Steven Fletcher has scored the first goal of the game six times this season – more often than any other Premier League player. 
  • Stephane Sessegnon, meanwhile, has been fouled more often than any other player this season – a total of 61 times thus far.
  • Arsenal have made 13 errors leading to a goal in the Premier League this season; more than any other team in the league.
  • The Gunners have also tended to start their games badly; if only the second half of Premier League fixtures counted this season, Arsenal would be second, only two points behind Manchester City.
  • Lukas Podolski (pictured right) has played a part in 10 goals over his last eight Premier League appearances for Arsenal (four goals and six assists).