We can’t underestimate Cardiff if we want to win today

Get well soon, Pat!

Get well soon, Pat!

Hello and good afternoon all. Today the squad take on Welsh side Cardiff who have been largely impressive against the top sides, especially at home. They’ve beaten Man City and Cardiff whilst taken draws against Man United and Everton. Despite our strong away record I can’t help but feel this is going to be an extremely tough game against an opponent who should not be underestimated.

The team news ahead of the game is that we’re have exactly the same squad available as we had against Marseille plus Gibbs who was feeling a bit under the weather. That squad literally destroyed Marseille and if it can put out the same performance today I’m positive we can get the three points.

Wenger praised Cardiff in yesterday’s conference, saying that they have a special attitude that means they’re always a threat regardless of the score. He said

They look to have good solidarity, good togetherness [and] fantastic support as well, they are all on the same wavelength in the team and are very efficient at home on set-pieces.

Even on Sunday when they were 2-1 down against Man United, many teams could have thought ‘OK, it’s Man United, we will not come back’.

But you always had the feeling that they don’t give up. You could feel that they would come back. They have that special attitude and belief in the side, and that makes them dangerous.

That special attitude also managed to get them the three points against City back in August. It’s the same special attitude that we must be wary of today because even if we’re 2-0 up at 80 minutes, they’ll still be looking to get a draw. Cardiff aren’t a top side but they love playing top sides, that’s what makes them dangerous. Arsene is very much aware of this trait and feels we must do better than both of these teams if we want to compete, saying

They beat City at home. They played a very good game against Man United where possession was 50:50. That’s the challenge for us; to do better than these teams.

And of course we have the warning of their performances against the big teams, so we are in a position where we have a difficult challenge but also a very exciting challenge because we can do better.

It’ll be a tough three points to get no doubt, however when I look at our squad, our form and the way we’ve seen games out so far this season, I can’t help but feel this is another game we can take. When you consider that tomorrows fixtures include Tottenham vs United, Hull vs Liverpool, City vs Swansea and Chelsea vs Southampton, it’s inevitable that one or two of those top teams will drop points – making it all the more essential we capitalise and pick up ours.

My prediction is a very tough 3-1 win. I do get the impression we can take a clean sheet because we’ve been doing so well recently, however they’ve managed to get three against City and two against United, so we can’t rule out a goal completely. We should be aiming to get the first goal and go in at half time ahead, then using the first half of the second to nick another goal before seeing it out in the last 15 minutes or so. It’s a game plan that has worked for us many times in the last few months so it’s one we should adopt today – especially away from home.

Anyway, I’ll have to leave it there as my Mac is about to die on me! Here’s to a positive result and the target of going top of the league by seven points. That’d be good, right?



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