Monday, March 27, 2006

Juventus Preview

This is it then, the return of Pat Vieira. Its going to be emotional for all involved and could bring out the best in him, but also our own players. I'm harbouring thoughts of Gilberto wanting to prove a point that he is still a player without our old captain, but I may be thinking to highly there!
One thing that has been glossed over in the build up so far is about Thierry Henry. Yes, everyone has said Juve are troubled by pace at the back and the focus is on PV4's return, but Henry is also playing one of his old clubs. A club that he left with a lot to prove. Whilst Vieira won all but, ironically, this one trophy available with us (Carling Cup doesn't count Spurs fans!), Henry was a failure at Juventus.

Who has more of a point to prove? I have a feeling Thierry may be up for this one!

Juve will be without Nedved and Del Piero tomorrow and we are without our usual suspects as well. For Nedved, read Ljungberg due to their influence and sense of the big stage and whilst Del Piero has been on the wane for some years, he has been back on form this season. It can only help to have these two class players out of the side, but Juve are still a tremendous threat, Camoranesi especially seems to be put in the shadow by the big name players in front of his wide right berth, but is an awesome player.

Whilst I feel that the quarter final will not be won or lost at Highbury - think of how many of the previous rounds ties could have been back to square one with a goal from the relevant side - it is important to get a goal. I think our defence will come under more pressure from a Juve side that is far more efficient than either Madrid, or indeed ourselves. Juve have a potent mix of individual brilliance and a hive like mind set that benefits them as a team. But remember, they are an Italian side playing away from home! They are far more pragmatic than we would be and also Madrid in a similar fixture. Whilst I'm not saying they will play for a draw, if its 0-0 I think they would be happy but over 90 minutes I can see them scoring. However, with a fired up TH14 and hopefully Reyes to frieghten with his pace in our 4-5-1 CL standard formation, I can see us getting goals too.

Away goals however, are an overrated phenomenon. They seem to put far more fear into teams and supporters than is necessary. If Arsenal win 3-1 tomorrow but lose 1-0 in Turin we go through. If we win 2-1 tomorrow but draw 0-0 over there, we also go through. Away goals only become the be all and end all on aggregate and over 2 legs in this tie I think one side will outscore or shut out the other one without having to rely on this hyped up rule. I'm not saying they are irrrelevant, but imagine the perception on wednesday morning if its 1-1 tomorrow night. Fine, its 1-1, but the media will only talk of an away goal. If we then go to Italy and win 1-0, we go through, making the away goal obselete. Lets talk about away goals if they look like an issue in Turins' second 45 minutes, not before we've even kicked off!

So, a far more tense night than the final throes of the Galacticos era served up for us, but without Nedved and Del Piero, thus helping to balance the injury accounts of both sides somewhat, I am going for a 1-1 or 2-1 victory for the Arsenal.


At 4:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post and thoughts! I'll be back to check it out more!


Post a comment

<< Home