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Arsenal v Portsmouth, Saturday 22nd August, 15:00

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Eduardo is fit to face Portsmouth this weekend despite an 11th-hour withdrawal from Arsenal's Champions League win at Celtic.The Croatian striker was named among the substitutes at Parkhead but was replaced on the bench by Jack Wilshere just before kick-off. Arsène Wenger explained why when he spoke to Arsenal TV Online at the training ground on Thursday."Eduardo had a tight groin in the warm-up and he felt he could not play," said the Frenchman. "He had no power and we had to change [the teamsheet] quickly.Wenger reported no new injuries from that bruising encounter in Glasgow but, on the flip side, none of Arsenal's injured quintet are fit to return. The manager was hoping to call on Theo Walcott for the first home game of the season but his back problem has still not healed."I don't believe we have anyone injured from Tuesday night's game at Celtic," said Wenger. "Eduardo I believe will be back in contention but Theo Walcott will not be back at all. Rosicky, Djourou, Nasri, Fabianski - they will all be out."There is a slight concern [over Walcott's back injury] but we believe it is a question of days and not of weeks."We will see [if he is fit to face Manchester United next Saturday]. It is always difficult to set a date. I thought he would be available for Celtic, I thought he would be available for Everton, but he wasn't. That's why we will be cautious."
Expects same starting eleven.
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Arshavin or RVP should make way Eduardo./The club are giving away 57,000 scarves for this match.

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Yep rvp did not impress at all midweek. Eduardos gotta start

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Nah I'd say RVP start again, Eduardo to come off the bench later on...not that he does alot coming off the bench but hopefully the game will be won by then. And if RVP has another dissapointing game then start Eduardo against Celtic, where Robin could do with a rest anyway after starting 3 games in 8 days.

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According to Arsène Wenger, the “opinions are changing” about Alex Song.After making only 20 starts during his first three years at the Club, the 21-year-old established himself as a key member of Wenger’s squad last season, making 48 appearances in all competitions.Although the manager initially thought Song would be a central defender, the Cameroonian has emerged as a genuine midfield enforcer - the perfect foil for Cesc Fabregas in the Arsenal engine room.Speaking at Friday’s pre-match press conference, the manager hailed Song’s continued development at the Club in sometimes difficult circumstances.“I was always confident Song would pop up in this [central midfield] position, or at centre-back,” the manager said.“I brought him here aged 17 and worked very hard with him, we worked hard because I felt he had the talent to become a good player.“I know that the opinions are changing about him now.“He had to swim a little bit against the stream, and he did that very well.”
The Club have started negotiations with Nicklas Bendtner regarding a contract extension. The Danish striker, who scored 15 goals in 27 starts last season, is now in the final year of his current deal. Speaking at Friday’s pre-match press conference Arsène Wenger gave an update on the 21-year-old’s contract situation. “Bentdner is in his final year of his contract,” the manager confirmed. “At the moment we are in discussion with him.” “If we get anywhere we will let you know.”
Arsène Wenger is not reading too much into early-season defeats for Arsenal’s ‘Big Four’ rivals. Liverpool lost their opening match of the campaign, 2-1 at Tottenham last Sunday. And Manchester United came unstuck at Turf Moor on Wednesday night as newly-promoted Burnley pulled off a famous 1-0 victory. Considering last season’s top two only lost six games between them in 2008/09, those results raised a few eyebrows and prompted questions of United and Liverpool’s title credentials. But Wenger insists it’s too early to make judgements over this year’s contenders. “It is unusual [that they both lost] but they have played two difficult opponents – Tottenham for Liverpool and Burnley for Manchester United,” said the Frenchman. “Burnley came up from the Championship and of course created some upsets last year. “It [early defeats] can happen, but, we are in a marathon here and it just started.”
Arsenal have already played one game less than half of the Premier League and the manager does not believe it is right. Arsenal travelled to Celtic during midweek for the Champions League Play-off Round. In the same period, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea – among others – were playing their second League fixture of the season. So with the campaign less than a week old, there is already a mis-match in the Premier League’s ‘Games Played’ column.For Wenger it’s a disappointing, and ultimately avoidable, scenario. “We are unfortunately already behind [on fixtures],” he said at Friday’s pre-match press conference. “I do not believe that is right.“In the second game of the season, you already have half of the league has not played.“If you already know they have to catch back, why do you not play the all of the championship games on the same day? Everybody together. “Otherwise you may have advantages or disadvantages for some clubs.”
Arsène Wenger believes Thomas Vermaelen is both physically and mentally primed for the Premier League battle. The Belgian central defender has impressed in his first two outings for his new club, as the Gunners made light work of tough-looking fixtures at Everton and Celtic. Wenger knew all about the 23-year-old’s technical ability before he signed, having faced him during previous Amsterdam tournaments and Dennis Bergkamp’s testimonial at Emirates Stadium in 2006. But one thing that the manager was not so certain about was Vermaelen’s ability to handle the Premier League’s “psychological factor”. But on the evidence of the last two matches, Wenger needn’t have worried. “He is a player who has intelligence, physical strength and a good technical level,” the manager explained at Friday’s press conference. “If you analyse him well you see that he has all the ingredients needed to be successful in the Premier League. “But on the other hand there is a psychological factor that you never can measure at the start but he doesn’t look too impressed – he’s a strong character.“I am very pleased because everybody looks surprised that he’s doing well – I am not because I saw him when he played against us for Ajax.”Wenger highlighted the defence as a must-improve area this season, having finished 18 points behind Manchester United. The two sides scored the same number of goals in 2008/09 but the Gunners let in 10 more than the eventual champions. But that is not only a task for Vermaelen, according to the manager.“Of course [he will help Arsenal concede fewer goals], he is a central defender,” he said. “But as a team we want to do better defensively than we did last year. “That’s vital to us – we conceded 37 goals last year and the target is to do much better than that.”
Arsène Wenger has laughed off suggestions that Arsenal have agreed to sell Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona next summer. Not a week goes by without the Arsenal captain being linked with a return to his home country and the latest reports claim that the two clubs have made a ‘pact’ to do business at the end of the season. Wenger is clearly tired of fielding questions about Fabregas at every pre-match press conference but he understands why they keep coming. When presidential elections loom at Spain’s top clubs, candidates chase votes by making outlandish claims about the players they will bring in if they win. That keeps the rumour-mill turning but Wenger thinks the system is destabilising for the rest of football. “I believe that apart from giving some articles to the newspapers all the rest is rubbish,” said Wenger after the latest Fabregas rumour was put to him. “It doesn’t help football, it doesn’t help people to focus on their job and it is sometimes destabilising.“The way Spanish clubs are run is more political than sport-orientated. How much does that harm other clubs? It is difficult to measure. But it doesn’t help other clubs when somebody who has, for example, no chance to be elected next year as president, can announce any name. What can you do against him? Nothing.“Does that help other clubs? Certainly not. The only thing I can say that the day I will agree to sell a player one year in advance, I will not be in this job any more.”
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Gonna hand out a rape to Pompy imo.Hope Eduardo starts or just play Bendtner through the middle.

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wenger still needs to buy.im quite suprised our scouting network must be 90% priority on youths cos in the last 2-3 seasons we are buying players after we play them. eduardo, vermaelen and we were looking at whats his facealso rvp just needs to get his shooting boots on, he does an ok job leading the line as he howed AW last season vs chelsea and liverpoolbendtner is wholly undeserving of the reported 55k a week, but yet again players have the club by the neck cos he's going into final year

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Its a 4 year deal rising eventually to 55k.

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Piss easy winAny of you lot go, how man scarf's did you take lol

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those fans didnt deserve scarves tbhshould be given microphones

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where the same cheap ones you get in the members pack?

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