...over to Jonathan Pearce at the Emirates...
Arsenal (Probable; 4 - 4 - 1 - 1)
Defence: Moore, Rosen, Adams, Bragg
Midfield: Collins, Coelho, Marber, Parsons
Attack: Hornby, Swipe
Tottenham Hotspur (Probable; 3 - 5 - 2)
Defence: Forsythe, Cook, Rankin
Midfield: Chas, Rushdie, Sugar, Vargos Llosa, Dave
Attack: Aaronovitch, Smash
Sub: Hunter Davies
Arsenal 'keeper Eve Pollard will be hoping for an uneventful 90 minutes after 2 high profile errors have marred the voluble shot stopper's start to the season. The gunners go for solidity and familiarity at the back; classy left back Melvyn "Lord" Bragg and American rightback Michael Moore have 9/11 starts between them. Michael Rosen will once again partner Douglas Adams in the centre of defence as the lanky stopper starts his last season, hoping to say so long, and thanks for all the medals at the end of another trophy-filled campaign. Jackie Collins and Paolo Coelho bring a touch of the exotic to the midfiled; the silky samba skills of "The Alchemist" and "The Bitch" being balanced by the archetypal English grit of Patrick Marber and Tony Parsons. The left sided midfielder, who's been with the club Man and Boy, will be hoping to renew his successful partnership with striker Hornby, playing in the hole today behind the prolific Swipe. It's A Long Way Down for the big lad, who has a quick pair of feet and an elegance that belie his height. He'll be hoping to maintain his goal a game ratio against Tottenham. Sub Amy Lawrence will be keen to get on and show that she has inherited more than a famous name from grandfather D.H. Lawrence, the famous Nottingham Forest schemer and novelist.
A fine proponent of blank verse, Tottenham goalkeeper Wardle will be hoping for another clean sheet today. A 'good game, good game', for Spurs is virtually assured with ever-present Bruce Forsythe combining once again with Ian Rankin and Peter "Unidexter" Cook in a three man backline. The one footed Cook may find Arsenal's quick pass and move a little too much, although the one he does have is very, very good. Fiery Scot Rankin will be hoping to avoid getting into the referee's Black Book although you don't need to be Inspector Rebus to know that he's an accident waiting to happen when all that blood goes to his head. Spurs will pack the midfield and hope that Alan Sugar, who served his Apprenticeship with the club, supporter's boo-boy Salman Rushdie and new South American signing Vargas Llosa will be able to impose themselves on the gunners' more fluid and skillful midfield. Rushdie will hope to rise above the "you fatwa bastard" taunts and finally start to deliver some of those Satanic Passes whilst Peruvian Vargos Llosa knows that if ever there was a The Time of the Hero, it's now. With his protection in the middle of the park, wing backs Chas and Dave will be hoping they can get their knees up and provide the service for Nutty Boy Chas Smash up front. It must be Love for coach Martin Jol as he is persisiting with the striker despite recently describing him as "an Embarrassment". The Dutchman will be hoping that Smash's strike partner, David Aaronovitch will be his reliable self; talking bollocks about a load of old shite.
L.U.V. on y'all,
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