Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Standard Liege vs Arsenal Preview & Live Score: UEFA Champions League 2009-10

Arsenal starts their Champions league mission on Wednesday (16 September 2009) at Belgian champion Standard Liege in Group H. Gunners would go into the game on the back of two back-to-back defeats, but they retain a bit of their confidence as UEFA overturned the two-match diving suspension imposed on Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva. Liege did not have a very good start to the new season, but last Saturday’s 3-0 win over Mechelen must have boost up their confidence ahead of the home encounter with Arsenal. So, both Arsenal and Standard Liege would like to have a good start in Europe.

If you want to get the live score and updates of the math, then visit here.

Match: Standard Liege vs Arsenal; Group H; UEFA Champions League 2009-10

Date: 16 September 2009

Venue: Stade Maurice Dufrasne, Liege

Time: 19:45 BST; 18:45 GMT


Image source: goonersworld

Arsenal suffered two morale-denting defeats in premier league recently. First they lost to English champion Manchester United 2-1, and then suffered a crushing 4-2 defeat at the hands of another Manchester-based club Manchester City. There is no doubt, both the defeats came as a big blow for the North London club who had a flying start to the new season. The result and the scoreline of the two defeats could make you feel that Arsenal displayed frustrating performance. However, the fact is that Arsenal’s performance was not as disappointing as the scoreline would suggest. In the first game, Arsenal even took lead against United and was leading 1-0 in the half time, but United bounced back through a penalty and a own goal in the second half. Same thing happened in the next game too as Arsenal was fighting toe-to-toe with City until 60 or 70 odd minutes in the game, but the Gunners made it a mess in the end.

Despite the two defeats, Arsenal can still remain optimistic about their trip to Belgium considering two facts. First of all, Arsenal had an emphatic 7-0 victory over Liege in 1992 UEFA Cup. Though the game was 15 years back and a lot of things changed during this long period, Arsenal can still find inspiration from that victory. Secondly, Arsenal would now know that they would get the service of Croatian striker Eduardo who was earlier handed a ban for allegedly diving during Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Celtic in Champions League qualifier, but UEFA has took away ban after examining all the video evidences of that incident. Eduardo himself is very much delighted with the decision and is now confident of helping Arsenal in the upcoming champions league fixture at Standard Liege.

iol.co.za reported:

"I'm very pleased that we have finally arrived at the truth. All we needed to do was to prove what happened and we have managed to do that. This decision makes me feel a lot better," Eduardo said.
"I just want to say that I'm a fair player. To score goals you must take your opportunities and I'm not the type of player who needs to be dishonest to score goals.
"Now I just want to forget about this and think about our match against Standard Liege on Wednesday.

Standard Liege is the defending champion of Belgian first division. However, they got off to an ordinary start to the new season. Out of 6 games, Standard drew 4 and won 2 so far this season. Naturally, this is not what Standard was looking for. However, the good thing is that Standard indicated to get their rhythm back as they defeated Mechelen 3-0 this weekend. The Belgian outfit would like to put the memory of their 7-0 defeat to Arsenal back ahead of the home encounter with Arsenal. It is pretty much understandable that Standard has been changed a lot over the last 15 years and Arsenal would make a mistake if they just sit back and relax relishing their past triumph. In fact, Standard Liege also knows the fact that they are a different side now, so there is no thing to worry about what happened 15 years ago.

However, there is still something for Standard to be worried about and that is injury problem. Standard would miss their captain Steven Defour who has been sidelined for 6 weeks after injuring his right foot during recent win against Mechelen. No doubt, it is a huge blow for them ahead of the Arsenal encounter. Moreover, there are some other injury woes Liege would have to deal with while hosting Arsenal.

USA Today reported:

Standard enters the game with Defour's injury made worse by worries that fellow midfielder Wilfried Dalmat and striker Igor de Camargo might not make kickoff. And Alex Witsel, Belgium's most valuable player, will come cold into the game after he started serving an eight-match league suspension for breaking the leg of an Anderlecht defender.

Arsenal does not have any new injury problem, but they would miss the service of Andrei Arshavin in Belgium. Theo Walcott has not yet recovered from his injury fully and would remain sidelined for the Champions league opener too. The only good sign is that midfielder Tomas Rosicky returned to action when he came off the bench against Manchester City.

Sportsbettingreview reported:

Andrei Arshavin missed the match through injury and will be unavailable against Standard Liege. Theo Walcott is still out, as well.

Tomas Rosicky’s return to action is a big positive for Arsenal and to have him on the scoresheet will only boost his confidence.

Another boost came for Arsenal on Monday with the news that Eduardo will feature for the Gunners, after UEFA overturned their initial two-match ban for diving against the Croatian striker.

Online Live Score and Updates

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Arsenal would definitely start the game as a favorite, but Standard Liege will be looking to cause an upset exploiting their home advantage. Still, Arsenal should not have many problems to outclass the home side, unless they fail to deliver at their best. On the other hand, Standard would not mind even if they can come out with a point from the game. Standard might start the game in aggressive mode in order to put some pressure on the visitors, while Arsenal may not rush for attack initially. Rather, they would like to control the midfield from the beginning and it would not be easy for the Gunners in the absence of Arshavin. Anyway, I hope to see some exciting football from both sides.

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