VfB stuttgart v Arsenal – Preview
Following three lightweight games, the tempo moves up a gear tonight as Arsenal face German team VfB Stuttgart and former Arsenal goalkeeper Jen Lehman.
Today’s game will see a different team from the previous games as Gallas, Senderos and Djourou are all available to play in defence, other players vying for a first start are new signing Samir Nasri, and strikers Robin van Persie and last season’s top scorer Adebayor.
The reception Adebayor receives from the travelling Arsenal fans will be interesting. The only way for Adebayor to answer his critics is to start the season where he left off from last season and score goals.
The return of the centre backs will be a relief for Wenger as he has struggled to find players to fill in at the back. The main concern for the boss is whom does he play in central midfield. Denilson, Randall, and Ramsey have filled in so far, Fabregas is not due to play tonight and Diaby will only make an appearance if he is 100% fit. Wenger will not wish to risk the big French midfielder. It is this paucity of players in midfield that has meant that Wenger is anxious to bring in one or two more players into a depleted midfield.
Carlos Vela will play tonight, whether Arsene wishers to use him up front or on the wing will give an indication as to where he will play next season. Another player who will be getting a run today is Wilshere. Wenger is highly impressed with the 16 year-old but is careful not to over expose him.
Up front, Arsene now has a choice of van Persie, Adebayor, Bendtner, Vela, Walcott, and Simpson. Vela and Walcott may be used on the flanks, whilst Simpson must be rueing the missed opportunities from the Burgenland game.
Today’s game will see former Gunner’s goalkeeper Lehman come up against his old teammates, whilst up front for Stuttgart is one-time Arsenal target Mario Gomez. This game will test Arsenal as the pre-season games come thick and fast and the opposition from now on will be stronger than those faced so far.
Arsenal will be looking for a good performance, passing and running are the key tonight, and the strikers need to take their chances.
The game is live on Arsenal TV and Arsenal TV Online, kick-off 7.15pm.