Champions League Preview: Arsenal v Partizan

December 8, 2010 — by Sean

There’s really only one game that matters today: the Arsenal v Partizan matchup. We’ve been focusing a lot on the Gunners this week (apologies to Spurs fans) though can you blame us? What with the classy showing from the overbite last weekend, and now with the top team in England (game in hand, of course) on the verge of disqualification, we simply can’t help ourselves.

The north Londoners meet a Serbian side who’ve only scored one goal (against Arsenal, btw) with nine put in against. And of course they’ve come to England and the cozy confines of the Emirates stadium. But there’s pressure on Arsenal as they’re currently tied on points with Braga for second place in their group. Anything but a win could see the gooners out of the tournament, and would send the pundits back into the familiar territory of writing off as Arsenal also-rans.

How do the teams look you, you ask? Well it’s same-old for Arsenal. They’ve got Koscielny back in the center of defense, but lose Djourou to a thigh injury. Vermealen is out and so is Cesc. Van Persie might start, but look for him to get injured right away. And Diaby is out alongside Frimpong, who we may actually have seen today if he were fit.

A couple of injuries for Belgrade too. Defender Aleksandar Miljkovic picked up a groin injury during their win over FK Sloboda Sevojno at the weekend, and another defender, Ivan Stevanovic, is also out due to illness.

Group H

Clubs P W D L F A +/- Pts
1 FC Shakhtar Donetsk FC Shakhtar Donetsk 5 4 0 1 10 6 4 12
2 Arsenal FC Arsenal FC 5 3 0 2 15 6 9 9
3 SC Braga SC Braga 5 3 0 2 5 9 -4 9
4 FK Partizan FK Partizan 5 0 0 5 1 10 -9 0