Arsenal have seen off Birmingham and stuffed Shakhtar Donetsk in the past few days in readiness for what promises to be a tough encounter at what will be an emotionally charged Eastlands where the Manchester club will pay their respects to Malcolm Allison beforehand:
‘We have won our last two games now and that is important because we go into the Manchester City game with a good level of confidence and with some certainties in the way we want to behave…City is a different type of game and what was important for us tonight was to win and then prepare.’
It will be interesting to watch the talented 23 year old Samir Nasri on Sunday and how he approaches a game of such intensity. He went out of his way to publically slate hard tackling in English football recently joining a chorus of views that threaten to drift towards the sport becoming none body contact.
‘Nigel de Jong has pedigree, a bit like Mark van Bommel. Referees should know that these players make foul tackles…are we protected enough in England? I don’t think so. What strikes me is the refereeing…the referee saw Hatem Ben Arfa exit on a stretcher with an oxygen mask, yet he didn’t punish De Jong.’
You get the inpression that Nasri wouldn’t have lasted long in the days of Mike Doyle and Sammy Nelson!