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Posts Tagged ‘alex song’

This kid just can’t catch a break. He missed the first part of last season with a broken leg and one game into this season he suffers a meniscal injury which will require surgery and sideline him for at least one month. Nasri’s injury is just the latest to hit Arsenal; Alex Song has a calf injury, Denilson has abdominal problems and Aaron Ramsey is still recovering from the horrific broken leg he suffered last season. Cesc Fabregas should be healthy enough to make his season debut on Saturday after missing the opening game with a chest infection.

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June 19, 7:30am

Netherlands vs Japan

This should be a walk in the park for the Dutch. Their electrifying pace will be far too much to handle for the Japanese. I could sit here and make Japan look silly and continue singing the praises of the Dutch but I’ll spare you some time and just end this preview here.

Final Score: 4-0

Key players to watch:

Netherlands- Arjen Robben (midfielder, Bayern Munich), Robin Van Persie (forward, Arsenal), Dirk Kuyt (forward, Liverpool), Wesley Sneijder (midfielder, Inter Milan), Rafael Van der Vaart (midfielder, Real Madrid)
Japan- Shunsuke Nakamura (midfielder Yokohoma), Keisuke Honda (midfielder, CSKA Moscow), Yasuhito Endo (midfielder, Gamba Osaka), Keiji Tamada (forward, Nagoya Grampus), Shinji Okazaki (forward, Shimizu S-Pulse)

Ghana vs Australia 10:00am

Ghana will be without their star player Michael Essien during this world cup. The versatile midfielder injured his knee during the African Cup of Nations and has never recovered since. This is a massive blow for Ghana as Essien is a vital addition to this squad. It’s tough to say that the loss of one player could decide whether or not a team advances to the next stage, however, in this case it is true. Without Essien, I cannot envision the Ghanaians to get out of their group. They will battle Serbia for the 2nd spot behind Germany, and I believe without Essien, the door is open for the strong Serbians to advance to the next round. Anyway, that won’t matter here as with or without Essien I think Ghana still beats Australia. Sorry, mates.

Final score: 2-0

Key players to watch:

Ghana- Stephen Appiah (midfielder, Bologna), Sulley Muntari (midfielder, Inter Milan), Asamoah Gyan (forward, Rennes), Kevin-Prince Boateng (midfielder, Portsmouth), John Paintsil (defender, Fulham)
Australia- Tim Cahill (midfielder, Everton), Mark Bresciano (midfielder, Palermo), Harry Kewell (forward, Galatassary), Brett Emerton (midfielder, Blackburn), Brett Holman (midfielder, AZ Alkamaar)

Cameroon vs Denmark 2:30pm

This should be the most competitive match of the day. One of these two teams will join the Netherlands into the next round. I believe it will probably be Cameroon; they are the more talented squad and have home-field advantage so to speak. Cameroon will definitely need their star striker Samuel Eto’o to step up and carry the load in the scoring department. Coming off a recent treble victory with his club Inter Milan, Eto’o’s confidence should be soaring sky high leaving him with no excuse for not showing up. I expect Denmark to fight hard but fall short, not just in this match, but also in the tournament in general.

Final score: 2-1

Key players to watch:

Cameroon- Samuel Eto’o (forward, Inter Milan), Alex Song (midfielder, Arsenal), Jean Makoun (midfielder, Lyon), Sebastien Bassong (defender, Tottenham), Geremi Njitap (defender, Ankaragucu)
Denmark- Nicklas Bendtner (forward, Arsenal), Christian Poulsen (midfielder, Juventus), Thomas Enevoldsen (midfielder, Groningen), Jon Dahl Tomasson (forward, Feyenoord), Thomas Sorensen (goalkeeper, Stoke City)

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June 14, 7:30am

Netherlands vs Denmark

Alas, a match worth waking up for at 7:30 am. Netherlands should be atop Group E when all group matches are said and done, however, the question is who will be the 2nd team to advance? Quite frankly it will come down to Denmark and Cameroon. If Denmark can manage to squander a point from this match it will increase their chances of advancing greatly. Unfortunately, I can’t see them winning or coming out with a draw here. The Dutch should overpower the Danes and come out with a victory. Nevertheless, it should be an entertaining match, as the Oranje never fails to entertain.

Final score: 3-1

Key players to watch:

Netherlands- Wesley Sneijder (midfielder, Inter Milan), Rafael Van der Vaart (midfielder, Real Madrid), Arjen Robben (midfielder, Bayern Munich), Robin Van Persie (forward, Arsenal), Dirk Kuyt (forward, Liverpool)

Denmark- Nicklas Bendter (forward, Arsenal), Christian Poulsen (midfielder, Juventus), Daniel Agger (defender, Liverpool)

Japan vs Cameroon 10:00am

Cameroon should get off to a flying start as they face the lame duck of Group E. Japan do not have a very strong squad this time around and will find themselves overpowered by the Lions. Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o who will have to find his form if Cameroon wants any shot at advancing will spearhead Cameroon. Japan will lose this match but should be able to keep it relevant throughout the entire 90 minute period.

Final score: 1-0

Key players to watch:

Cameroon- Samuel Eto’o (forward, Inter Milan), Jean Makoun (midfielder, Lyon), Alex Song (midfielder, Arsenal)

Japan– Shinji Kagawa (midfielder, Borussia Dortmund), Shunsuke Nakamura (midfielder, Yokohama), Mitsuo Ogaswara (midfielder, Kashima)

Italy vs Paraguay 2:30pm

The defending world champions will trot forward an aging squad with little left in the gas tank. Marcello Lippi has barely tweaked the squad that won the cup 4 years ago. Unfortunately, that could end up hampering the Azzurri as the majority of the players are over the age of 30. Paraguay will be no push over and should present the Azzurri with a challenge. Italy is the favorite to win the group and Paraguay will battle Slovakia for the 2nd spot. Unfortunately for Paraguay they will be without striker Salvador Cabanas as he has not been able to fully recover from his tragic accident in time. Salvador was shot in the head at a bar in Mexico City back in January and has remarkably fought back. Nonetheless, Paraguay will still have options in attack with Roque Santa Cruz, Nelson Valdez and the in-form Oscar Cardozo. I expect this to be a close match with the Azzurri pulling away in the final minutes.

Final score: 2-1

Key players to watch:

Italy- Daniele De Rossi (midfielder, Roma), Gianluigi Buffon (goalkeeper, Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (defender, Juventus), Giuseppe Rossi (forward, Villareal), Giampaolo Pazzini (forward, Sampdoria)

Paraguay– Roque Santa Cruz (forward, Manchester City), Oscar Cardozo (forward, Benfica), Nelson Valdez (forward, Borussia Dortmund), Cristian Riveros (midfielder, Sunderland)

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Anyone who isn’t an Arsenal fan has been trying to write this team off for months now, but every time we are reminded just how resilient this young squad is. Arsenal could have packed it in a long time ago when they were a good 9 points away from 1st place but they continued to fight to the point where they are now only 3 points away from first place. However, it seems all that hard work has caught up to them because they are plagued with injuries to instrumental players. Cesc Fabregas, the heart and soul of this team is out for the remainder of the season and question marks will surround his status as a Gunner throughout the summer. Andrey Arshavin, the playmaking wizard is out for at least 2-3 weeks. The most recent blow comes to Alex Song, the rock of the midfield will miss the 2nd leg Champions League clash against Barcelona with a groin injury. Arsenal can only hope that’s all he will miss. With all of these injuries it’s hard to see Arsenal overcome their deficit to Barcelona and it’s even harder to envision them climbing to the top of the Premier League table with a 3 point deficit and 5 games left to play. They definitely made a good run and helped make the race to the top more than a two-horse race and as a fan I thank them for that. Arsenal are always exciting to watch as they play with such fluidity and pace, and with this young core Arsenal will continue to be a threat in all competitions; they just need to learn to stay healthy.

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