Arsenal 2012/13 Season Preview

 

We take a look at Arsenal’s prospects leading up to the new Premier league Season.

Manager: Arsene Wenger

Stadium: Emirates Stadium – 60,361

Nickname:  The Gunners

2011/12 League Position: 3rd

Summer Signings

Lukas Podolski – Cologne – £10.9m

Olivier Giroud – Montpellier – £9.6m

Santi Cazorla – Malaga – Undisclosed

Key Players

Olivier Giroud/ Van Persie – The French striker will be heavily relied on to score goals if Van Persie does end up leaving. However, if the Dutch striker does stay, he’ll be the key to success.

Thomas Vermaelen – The centre back has been a rock at the back since joining the club. Wenger’s side miss him dearly when he’s not in the starting line-up.

Alex Song – A disastrous summer of 2011 left the gunners with a makeshift midfield, bereft of creativity. Up stepped Song – a defensive midfielder- creating 13 goals for his team mates – the third highest Premier League tally.

Likely Starting Line-Up

Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Song, Ramsey, Arteta, Walcott, Podolski, Van Persie

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Team Tactics

  • Wenger is likely to stick with a 4-3-3 formation, but the Arsenal players could easily adapt to play 4-4-2.
  • Full-backs Gibbs and Sagna love to get forward, the midfield players will also take turns to attack.
  • Oxlade-Chamberlain is a dangerous match-winning option when coming off the bench.

Opening Fixtures

August 18th Sunderland (H), 25th Stoke (A), September 1st Liverpool (A), 15th Southampton (H), 22nd Manchester City (A), 29th Chelsea (H)

Verdict

The RVP situation could prove unsettling and a Wilshere return is still unlikely for the foreseeable future. However Wenger clearly thrives under pressure – he proved this last season. I expect an easy top four finish for the North London club. 4th 

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