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Does Alexis Sanchez deserve a Ballon d’Or nomination? 0

Posted on October 26, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

The 2016 Ballon d’OR nominations have been named and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez was an omission. The Chilean international made his frustration known of the snub, posting a picture on Instagram with a dismissive caption, but did Sanchez deserve a nomination?

Could Jeff Reine-Adelaide force his way into the Arsenal first-team? 0

Posted on October 26, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has tipped midfielder Jeff Reine-Adelaide to make his Premier League debut following an impressive performance for the Gunners against Reading in Tuesday’s EFL Cup last-16 win. The French U19 international played 66 minutes at the Emirates Stadium and showered in praise by his manager for a mature showing.

“My belief is that Jeff is ready to play because he has it all in his locker – the strength, the physical power, the technical level. He has to add efficiency to his game – that will come with games as well – but he will have an opportunity to show that I am right about him. And part of a career is to grab your opportunity when you get it. So for Jeff, tonight could be an important night, but I am confident he will do well,” said Arsene Wenger.

Olivier Giroud returns from injury in Reading victory 0

Posted on October 26, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud was given a second-half cameo in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Reading, grabbing an assist for his troubles, and getting much-needed game time to boost his sharpness ahead of this weekend’s Premier League clash with Sunderland.

The French international replaced Jeff Reine-Adelaide in the 66th minute and set up Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for his second goal of the game just over 10 minutes after his introduction. Giroud has been out of action for a number of weeks with a toe injury, amassing just 102 minutes of playing time in all competitions this season, and needs to improve his match-fitness as a result.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain playing himself into contention for a regular starting place 0

Posted on October 26, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored twice as the Gunners booked their place in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup with a 2-0 win over Reading on Tuesday night, and manager Arsene Wenger believes the Englishman is reaping the rewards of hard work on the training field.

Oxlade-Chamberlain scored his fourth and fifth goal of the season against Reading, and has already matched his tally for the last two campaigns combined. For a player always in and around the penalty area, questions were asked of the former Southampton man why he didn’t score as many goals, but the 23-year-old has responded in brilliant fashion.

Jenkinson makes long awaited Arsenal return in EFL Cup win over Reading 0

Posted on October 26, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson made his first appearance for the Gunners in almost 900 days, returning from a 10-month injury layout to play a full 90 minutes in Tuesday’s 2-0 win against Reading in the EFL Cup. The England fullback hadn’t played for Arsenal since May 11 2014, but proved his worth with a solid performance against the Royals.

The 24-year-old was loaned out to West Ham United for two seasons before he suffered a long-term injury, and the last 10 months has been a battle to regain his fitness and match sharpness. Jenkinson was being groomed for a starting place at right-back a number of years ago, but has since seen the likes of Hector Bellerin, Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy move ahead of him in the pecking order.

Gunners see off the Royals in the EFL Cup 0

Posted on October 25, 2016 by David Nugent

Arsenal recorded a comfortable 2-0 victory over Reading in the fourth round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday night, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain grabbed a brace.

The first attempt on goal arrived on six minutes. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jeff Reine-Adelaide combined well to find full-back Carl Jenkinson in the area. The former-West Ham loanee saw his powerful effort saved by Ali Al Habsi, only for the full-back to head the rebound over the bar.

Two minutes later Oxlade-Chamberlain produced an effort that flashed across the face of the goalmouth, with Lucas Perez unable to get on the end of the ball. The next chance of the game also came to the home side on 20 minutes.

Arsenal 2/9 to win against Reading 0

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

In-form Premier League giants Arsenal welcome an out-of-form Reading outfit to the Emirates Stadium tonight in the last-16 of the EFL Cup, and are expected to come out on top against their Championship opponents given the contrasting results between the two sides in recent weeks, coupled with Arsenal’s one-sided head-to-head record.

Arsenal have been in fantastic form ahead of this evening’s cup clash, boasting seven win from their last eight games in all competitions. The Gunners thrashed a Championship side in Nottingham Forest at the City Ground in the third round to make it this far in the competition, and should have no problems given their outstanding form against the Royals.

Aaron Ramsey back in full training for Arsenal 0

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey is back in full training after recovering from a hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for a number of weeks. The Welsh international won’t feature against Reading in tonight’s EFL Cup last-16 clash, but the industrious player could make the squad for Saturday’s trip to face Sunderland.

The Gunners have been short on central midfield options with Santi Cazorla picking up an injury, while Granit Xhaka is suspended so Ramsey’s return comes at a good time. Arsenal didn’t have a recognised central midfielder on the bench in Saturday’s goalless draw against Middlesbrough, and having to play both Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny in deep-lying roles meant Arsenal lacked creativity.

Kieran Gibbs to captain Arsenal in tonight’s EFL Cup last-16 tie 0

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs is set to lead the side out as captain when the Gunners welcome the visit of Reading in the last-16 of the EFL Cup. Manager Arsene Wenger revealed in a pre-match press conference that the English left-back will be given the armband like he was in the EFL Cup third round win over Nottingham Forest.

Wenger will ring the changes from Saturday’s goalless draw with Middlesbrough and Gibbs is set to replace Nacho Monreal at left-back, among a host of other replacements in the squad. “Gibbs – who captained the team at Forest – will do it again on Tuesday,” said the Arsenal manager this week. Gibbs has been on the periphery for some time at Arsenal but was given his first Champions League start in a year against PFC Ludogorets Razgrad a week ago.

Lucas Perez “will have an opportunity” against Reading tonight 0

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Crippy Cooke

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed striker Lucas Perez will get game time in tonight’s EFL Cup last-16 clash against Reading. The Spanish centre-forward has been on the periphery since his arrival from Deportivo La Coruna but could be in line to feature against the Royals to help fire Arsenal into the quarter-finals of the competitions.

Wenger likes to rotate his squad in the cups competitions to ensure his star players are well-rested, while giving valuable minutes to the fringe players who haven’t played as much. As a result, it’s highly unlikely Alexis Sanchez will lead the line this evening, meaning Lucas Perez has a chance of getting a rare start. Lucas Perez is 10/11 to score anytime against Reading in tonight’s EFL Cup last-16 clash and he’ll be desperate to prove his worth.

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