Good news for Arsenal fans ahead of Saturday’s match against Blackburn Rovers, with Fabregas, Song, Walcott and Diaby all returning from injury. The fans are sorely in need of a boost after a terrible few weeks, which saw the Gunners lose the League Cup Final to lowly placed Birmingham, get knocked out of the European Champions League by Barcelona and the FA Cup by Manchester United. They also lost ground to United in the Premiership with a couple of disappointing draws with Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion.
All of these games, with the exception of the Barcelona match, were played without their talisman captain Cesc Fabregas, who was substituted in the game against Barcelona after making some uncharacteristic mistakes and not being on his best form. We can only hope that he is fully fit for the rest of the season as Arsenal are a different side with a fully fit and on form Fabregas.
Arsene Wenger and the players keep claiming that they can still win the Premier League, their only remaining chance of silverware this season. But it now relies on Manchester United slipping up, more than once and them not doing so again. Admittedly with this bunch of players back, things are looking up, as long as they remain fit. But they still have Wojciech Szczesny out after dislocating a finger against Barcelona and Johan Djourou who dislocated his shoulder against Man Utd. This leaves them with the dubious pairing of Dumb and Dumber (Koscielny and Squilaci) in central defence and Manuel Almunia in goal, with the only cover at the club for that vital position 41 year old Jens Lehmann. Lehmann hasn’t played a top flight competitive game for at least 9 months.
So let us hope that with the return of these first choice players the Arsenal are able to dominate in midfield and up front, because the chances of not conceding at least a couple of goals per game are pretty slim.
Incidentally Robin Van Persie and Aaron Ramsey both picked up knocks in the mid week internationals, but should be fit enough to make the Arsenal squad for Saturday.
Of the other teams vying for the title, Man Utd play West Ham at the Boleyn Ground and Chelsea face Stoke away on Saturday. Manchester City host Sunderland at home on Sunday.