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"It was the winter holiday and I was back in Togo having a kickabout with friends when my phone rang.One of the boys answered it and said, 'Manu, it's Arsene for you'. 'Arsene who?' I said. 'Arsene Wenger', he said. 'Get out of it', I said, and grabbed the phone off him. But then I heard the voice. 'Allo'. F*****g hell. It is Arsene Wenger!"
-Emmanuel Adebayor

Preview: Porto v Arsenal, Porto Gunning For 8th

Porto's completed 7 straight win in all competitions this weekend when they beat rivals Boavista 2-0 at home. Quareasmo and Helder Postiga got on the score sheet with the latter scoring his 8th goal of the campaign. Although the Portuguese league probably doesn't have the quality of the Premiership but 7 straight wins is impressive at any level.

Porto though wouldn't mind a draw as it would see both teams progress, Arsenal especially as it would mean we will go into the final 16 draw as winners of our group. Porto didn't really impress during the tie at Emirates Stadium where Arsenal dominated from start to finish and could have won by more than the full time score, 2-0. I think Porto are sort of like Reading of the Premiership, they can give so many teams a run for their money but Arsenal passing style is a total mismatch with their tactics, at least I hope so.

We will be without Thierry because he is suspended, though probably he wouldnt have played anyway because of his pain in the neck(this phrase is being used way too often!), despite the rumors that he had a bust-up with Wenger. Porto though have no players suspended. Also, neither clubs have any players that are on 2 yellow cards.

This match may just end up being the match to see the winners of the group if CSKA Moscow fail to beat Hamburg(er) in Germany. Hamburg have failed to score even a point in the champions league this season and will probably not field a full strength squad as they are trying to recover from an unimpressive start to the Bundesliga. Hamburg have absolutely no chance of even qualifying for the UEFA Cup and will probably look at this game as a chance to save some pride.

CSKA though will have to make do without the services of Elvir Rahimic and more importantly Vagner Love, the player that caused Arsenal so many problem during our visit to Russia and nearly stole a winner in London. they also have Yuri Zhirkov on 2 yellows cards, along with Rafael van der Vaart though it wouldn't really make a difference.

On to my prediction, I think Arsenal will get a point at Porto, with RvP scoring in a 1-1 draw that would put both teams through but CSKA wont do their job and I think Hamburg will score their one and only point in a 0-0 draw.

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posted by highbury1913 @ 9:09 pm | |

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