Jan 29

Match Preview: Arsenal v Huddersfield Town

After reaching the Carling Cup final on Tuesday, Arsenal will look to continue their domestic cup run on Sunday at home to Huddersfield Town.

Many will know very little about our opponents who currently sit third in League One, only six points from the top.  They are currently unbeaten in five league games although they recently suffered a 4-0 defeat in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and only had to overcome non-league minnows Dover in the last round of the FA Cup.  It is a game that Arsenal are clear favourites for, especially when considering under Arsene Wenger we have never lost to lower league opposition in this competition. 

Huddersfield may only have one win out of seventeen against opposition from higher divisions in the cup, but the FA Cup is renowned for upsets and any complacency from Arsenal tomorrow could easily end up as a day we wish to forget.

With a club record eight games already under our belts this January and still chasing glory on four fronts, Wenger will make use of his 25 man squad.  The last time we rotated significantly against Leeds it is fair to say the performance was hugely disappointing, with the game only being saved by the introduction of Fabregas and Walcott.  Tomorrow offers another chance for some of the fringe players and squad players to show they are better than that and worthy of a place in our starting eleven.  In particular Arshavin needs to continue trying to regain his form but more importantly the emirates crowd needs to support him.  He is going through a serious bad patch but hopefully with a few goals in games like these where his talent can easily destroy lower league defences, he will begin to regain some spark.  Another player in need of a goal is Chamakh.  He will start tomorrow and after a fantastic start to his Arsenal career he has suffered a burn out and now a lack of goals.  With Van Persie returning to form and fitness he will have to settle for less game time but tomorrow will provide him with some much needed game time where he can try to get back amongst the goals.

Injuries:

There a few notable returnees to the squad.  Diaby returns from an ankle injury suffered at Wigan, Rosicky has recovered from the flu and Squillaci’s hamstring has healed from the last round at home to Leeds.  Perhaps more surprisingly is the return of Almunia from the brink of exit after a four-month lay off.  He returns to the squad as a reserve after Wenger confirmed Szczesny as our number one for now.  It appears Almunia will be forced to stay until the summer as Fabianski’s shoulder injury continues to keep him out.

Along with Fabianski, Vermaelen is still around six weeks away from a return and Sagna is rested after suffering concussion in the midweek victory over Ipswich.

Predicted Starting XI

 Szczesny
Eboue – Squillaci – Koscielny – Gibbs
Diaby – Denilson – Rosicky
Bendtner – Chamakh – Arshavin

From an Arsenal perspective the most notable absentee for Huddersfield is 17 year old striker Benik Afobe, who is on loan from us.  Wenger has already shown how he allowed his loaned players to play against us with Sanchez Watt playing against us in the last round.  However complex rules about youth loans mean he is ineligible to play.

Huddersfield’s leading goal scorer, Jordan Rhodes will miss out after being ruled out with ankle ligament damage.  He adds to their injury list of Gary Naysmith (toe) and Damien Johnson (knee).

A win tomorrow would see Arsenal progress into the last 16 and stay in the hunt for all four available trophies.

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13 Responses to “Match Preview: Arsenal v Huddersfield Town”

  1. fidel says:

    we will win by a big score

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  2. Charlie says:

    I sincerely hope that’s the team. The game against Everton comes 2 days later and we’ll need to rest every first choice player for that one. Arsene did say that he’d start with Almunia though.

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  3. smithy says:

    i hope the crowd do get behind arshavin, but this rubbish in the media thats hes going thru a very bad patch and is heading to chelsea is bulls@@t. he has more assits than fabregas and is a top top player

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  4. GunnerMKD says:

    guys who will be watching the game on the stands today PLEASE DON`T BOO ARSHA, IF HE LOSES A BALL, BACK HIM, GIVE HIM SUPPORT.he has shown he is fighting to regain his form, so don`t do the thing you did to eboue. bentner will score, no doubt about that

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  5. maxp says:

    I hope he doesn’t play that side it’s way too many changes. You can’t change six players and call it the same side. All momentum is lost and although ‘uddersfiled are two divisions below, we don’t need a slip up or a replay. Keep Djourou at the back Wiltshire and Song in the midfield and one of either Fabregas or Nasri should be in every game that we are serious about winning.

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  6. maxp says:

    I meant to add that I agree that I don’t want to see Gooners getting on the back of Arshavin. He is a valuable player for us and we would be mad to let him go for a bad run of form. He upped his work rate against Ipswich and if he continues to do that his form will return.

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  7. jason says:

    Denilshit

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  8. jason says:

    denil is so poor today.

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  9. GunnerMKD says:

    denilson wasnt the only one, couple of players didnt play well too. see in what trouble squillaci put us in? we had to play the whole second half defending and fearing for our own goal. credits to huddersfield, they took full advantage of the sending off. match after match, i just can`t see the thing that wenger saw in squillaci when he brought him in. eboue should get more games under his belt, he was not looking very well today too. denilson … i can say we don`t have a real option when song is injured. the guy cant dribble, cant tackle, all he can do is pass, and he is making a lot of mistakes in passing. bentner along with diaby showed why they are not played as starters: they are not consistent. you see him score a wonder goal in one match, and then missing 300 oportunities in the next one. i thought almunia had an ok game, making a fabulous save, but had a few mistakes too. arsha is closing to his form, fabre saved us again … we survived, lets get better the next match.
    what i cant understand are the fans on the stands. you people, if i had a chance to go to an arsenal match, i would support, yell, sing songs the whole 90 mins … all you do is say ooooo when players pass the ball when we`re 3 goals up … sing more, clap,etc etc, let them feel the trust, faith and passion you are feeling. honestly, think about how it affects players when you are all quit the whole time.
    Up The Arsenal!

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  10. GunnerMKD says:

    also, wenger should try to sign mascherano and garay on loan, then we have a top squad

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  11. french gooner says:

    i dont care, were in the last 16.the only negative is nasri’s injury.lets concentrate on everton now ,win that and maybe villa will get a result against manure ….someone is going to beat them soon im sure,but we need to take advantage of that.every fa cup match is tough so lets be happy were through.come on arsenal

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  12. tc says:

    nasri wont be playing against barca

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  13. mofaz says:

    Win ugly or win beautiful ..dont care just win ..a win coupled with beautiful attackin football is a bonus, no such thing as losing beautifully . Denilson should step up Arsene is giving him chance after chance to prove himself worthy of the Arsenal player and he should repay the trust with bonus. Arshavin is improving great tackle to prevent a sure goal..

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