How Arsenal will overcome City; Falcao is the answer to Jose's problems

Stephen Pickering gives his opinion on the top news stories of the day. Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City all involved.

Arsenal fans a colossal task tomorrow when they travel up North in a real title six-pointer. Arsenal are currently without fear, no matter who they play or where they play and their resurgence this season is an absolute credit to that fact.

However, in the travel up to Manchester tomorrow their fans and players will know this is the biggest task of their season.

Manchester City have been absolutely perfect in their performances at home this season, playing seven and winning seven. That's all before you factor in the 29 goals they've scored at the Etihad, to the two they have conceded.

But they're not invincible, and with Arsenal showing a certain lack of fear - I believe it is possible for Arsene Wenger to come away victorious.

Arsenal have proven this season, they're good travelers and despite not playing any of the 'big' English sides on the road, they showed in Dortmund a resilience playing against sides in their 'fortress'.

Aside from that, I feel the key will be the game being fought and won in midfield. Manchester City are unlikely to deviate from their tactics against Arsenal, which means potentially, the Gunners will have 1 extra-man in that central battle. It's been established both teams prefer to play through the middle and I don't expect that to change, and this is where I feel Arsenal are strongest.

At each end of the pitch, Arsenal will be heavily tested and there is no getting away from that fact. The smart money is on Aguero and Negredo producing the goods, yet they come up against a formidable defensive duo that have been near perfect recently. At the other end, you have Giroud vs Kompany. Giroud has been in brilliant form this season, but coming up against arguably the best central defender in the world, he will need to exceed his very best in the game tomorrow to come out on top.

It will be an interesting game, with lots of personal battles - may the best team team. 


In transfer news, the rumours of Radamel Falcao being Chelsea's number one target in January will be music to their supporters ears.

The managers comments towards his current crop of strikers has been simply degrading and recently belittled them in comparison to strikers at other clubs. Whilst it may be what some supporters want to here, I don't expect to see Torres, nor Ba to go out this weekend and score a hat-trick in retort. I just think it's made matters worse.

Despite denying the need for a striker in previous interviews, I think it's imperative that Chelsea go out and get one. Otherwise I envisage this 'my strikers aren't good enough' drum being banged right up until May.

There is no doubt the backing is there if needed, and Roman has never been shy of splashing the cash previously, so can't see why he would now.

I believe that Falcao would be a good bet for Chelsea. He is a striker that has proven himself in several different countries and divisions, against several types of players. He is currently coming into his 'peak' and has all the qualities that the Premier League desires.

Signing him would be a big move for Chelsea, one that could win them the title. Whether or not Mourinho wants that sort of pressure added this season is another question. He seems all-to-quick to play down Chelsea's chances to win anything this season, I am almost expecting him to take the underdog title in their FA Cup third-round match against Derby County, it's become that farcical.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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