Barclay’s Premier League – Round 27
St. Andrews, Birmingham 23 February 2008
Kickoff @ 12:45pm
SQUAD: Almunia, Sagna, Senderos, Gallas, Clichy, Walcott, Flamini, Fabregas, Hleb, Adebayor, Eduardo, Lehmann, Bendtner, Denilson, Gilberto, J Hoyte, Traore, Song.
MISSING: Djourou, van Persie, Toure, Rosicky, Diaby, Eboue (suspended)
FORM: Birmingham are winless in all competitions since a 3-0 win at home over Middlesbrough on Boxing Day. They’ve only won one of their last 7 home matches. Birmingham have only 3 points in their last 6 matches and 6 points from their last 6 home matches. Meanwhile, Arsenal have won 3 on the trot away from home. City’s record is 5-7-14 and they are above Reading for the last relegation spot on goal difference with 22 points.
HISTORY: Arsenal are 6-2-1 against City under Arsene Wenger with the sole defeat coming back on May 15th, 2005 when Bandiani gave City the lead with ten minutes remaining. Dennis Bergkamp leveled the match in the 88th minute only to have Emile Heskey net the winner for City in the stoppage time.
STATS: Arsenal’s Emmanuel Adebayor is tied with Cristiano Ronaldo for the league lead in goals with 19. Cesc Fabregas is second in the league in assists with 12 behind Ashley Young of Aston Villa (13). Gael Clichy is one of only 12 players in the league to have played in all 26 of their club’s fixtures so far.
INJURIES: Kolo Toure sustained a calf injury on Wednesday and Arsene Wenger has estimated that he will miss 3-4 weeks “at least.” About Robin van Persie, Wenger said, “Robin is not a very long away from being fit at all, but he lacks match-practice. Could he be in the squad for Milan? Maybe, but don’t forget he has not played regularly for five months now.”
TEAM NEWS: We are currently negotiating with Spanish club, Cornella, for 15-year-old Ignasi Miquel, a left-footed midfielder and highly rated prospect by our Spanish scout Francis Cagigao. He had attracted interest from other La Liga sides as well as Manchester United. The club have scheduled talks with his representatives after his 16th birthday.
FINANCIAL NEWS: More financial results were released by the club yesterday which improve on those released back in September. According to the financial reports released by the club for the 6-month period ending 30 November 2007, Arsenal’s pre-tax profit was £20m, up from £12.9 in 2006. Television income increased 400% from £6.5m to £24.3. As well as a £3.4m increase in match day revenue. In bad news, Red & White Holdings have increased their shareholding to 24.2% which now makes them the club’s largest shareholder having overtaken Danny Fiszman who holds 24.11%. However, Managing Director Keith Edelman sought to reassure fans that a takeover bid was highly unlikely.
RUMOURS: Apparently AC Milan are “lining up an offer” for Adebayor. Newspaper reports also said that Milan were also preparing a £12m bid for Gael Clichy. I wonder if they’re gonna want to move into The Emirates and start wearing red and white as well. This has come on the heels of rumours of Flamini to Juventus and Hleb to Barcelona. As well as the usual Fabregas to Spain rumours. Flamini, Fabregas, and Hleb all stated their love for the club and their desire to stay together following Wednesday’s match against Milan. When Edelman was asked about Arsene’s future at the club amid rumours from Barcelona, he said, “I don’t think it’s something we’re contemplating at this juncture. He has just the other day announced he has a hunger to go on forever. He won’t go on forever, that’s an exaggeration on his part, but I don’t think it will be my problem. I’ve got another seven or eight years to go (at the club) and it won’t be my worry.”
MISCELLANEOUS: Birmingham still have tickets left and they have a Family deal which is 4 tickets (2 adults, 2 children) for £50.