Fabregas maybe ready in time for Barca!

An uplifting bit of news for Arsenal before the huge Barca showdown as it appears that Cesc maybe ruled match fit. He sustained a severe knee bruising from a Craig Gardner tackle in the Birmingham match that saw him hobble around in considerable pain.
His return is crucial and becomes even more so as Andres Iniesta will not make the Emirates trip because of a hamstring injury. Iniesta is one of the heads of the many headed Hydra that is Barca’s attack. There is Pedro who could take seamlessly take his place. With Messi peaking so spectacularly it would seemingly make no difference who Pep Guardiola chooses.
A further boost to Arsenal as Andriy Arshavin and Abou Diaby have also been cleared for the match.
William Gallas is on the bubble and could be used by Wenger but his first choices will have to be Thomas Vermaelen and Sol Campbell to anchor central defense. Sol should have good memories of the 2006 final in which he gave the Gunners the lead with his header before Henrik Larsson turned it around for the Blaugrana.

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2 comments on “Fabregas maybe ready in time for Barca!
  1. I’ve always liked Sol Campbell, but he will be tormented like never before when coming up against Messi and the rest of Barca’s attack. Gallas would do much better, but Wenger would probably be better off not rushing him back from injury, as he’ll be invaluable for the run-in in the Premier League. Given that Arsenal will have to defeat Barcelona and probably Inter to even reach the final, I’d say they might be better off prioritizing the Premier League since both Chelsea and United are likely to drop some points.
    However good Pedro is, he’s no Iniesta, so that will be a big loss for Barcelona. Additionally, I think Arsenal will need to play a high pressure game in midfield and force Xavi into some early mistakes. If they can dent his confidence to keep him out of the game, then it’s really just a matter of hoping Messi has an off day, because as much as I’d like to believe the opposite, I don’t think there’s a defender in the world who is capable of stopping him.
    Arsenal should learn from United’s mistakes in last year’s Final. The biggest mistake was that Anderson and Giggs didn’t track back enough to disrupt Xavi and Iniesta. I think Arsenal can do it, but it’ll take every ounce of their being to do so.

  2. Andrew, good points all. A high pressure game in midfield to disrupt the midfield and cut off supply to Messi forcing him deeper to retrieve the ball. The key is to try and get him as few touches. I remember Brazil being very effective in the Copa America 2007 final when they frustrated Messi with the same tactics. It also helped that Riquelme had a very forgettable match.

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