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Saturday December 7, 2013 MYT 2:22:00 AM
Saturday December 7, 2013 MYT 3:19:33 AM
by hariati azizan
Can Nicklas Bendtner kick on after scoring his first goal since way back when and help Arsenal stay top of the league? - AFP
THERE is nothing like celebrity skeptics to spur you on and Arsenal are getting more than enough negativity to fire them up now. Taking the cake is of course Jamie Carragher’s “Arsenal won’t win the championship because they haven’t won it for eight years” jibe.
Well, the former Reds defender would know ...
The inanity struck a core though when Nicklas Bendtner turned up on the team sheet on Wednesday. Suddenly, what Arsene Wenger’s side are said to be lacking for the long haul reared its ugly head. Will rotation, especially during this tight Christmas season, do the Gunners in?
Luckily, the notoriously delusional Dane showed that maybe they have enough depth when he helped the North London’s “Team B” beat Hull City and keep their lead at the top of the table.
Still, most Gooners will be happy to see Olivier Giroud back when they meet the new giant slayers Everton.
The Toffees are buoyed by their first win over Manchester United in 21 years, and will be looking to break another record at the Emirates when they come a calling.
Everton have not won at the north London club since January 1996, and they believe they can break their 17-year hoodoo if they can produce the kind of performance they showed at Old Trafford.
Roberto Martinez’s free-flowing revolutionaries do have what it takes to hurt the Gunners’ title hopes. They already have Chelsea’s scalp under their belt along with the champions’, and are looking at scoring a few more, now that some are saying they should be counted as top four contenders.
Everton are now in fifth spot, level with Liverpool on points and five more than United.
Romelu Lukaku was a menace against United, running even Nemanja Vidic to the ground while Kevin Mirallas, Ross Barkley and James McCarthy all swarmed the home goal every chance they got. Everton also have ingenue Gerard Delofeu in their arsenal; the Barca teen made an instant impact on his full debut against Stoke last week.
But Arsenal will not roll over so easily. Their back four have lost what the British press labelled their “sudden panic” air. With a more mature goalkeeper behind them and a hot, hot, hot midfield in front of them, they have made the Arsenal fort quite impenetrable.
So, sorry Everton ...
Hariati predicts Arsenal to win 2-1.
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