Weblog: The football punter

Chelsea could answer everyone's problems

IT'S not even September and Arsenal are already facing an injury crisis and a season-defining game.

Admittedly, it only takes a knock to Olivier Giroud to cause a crisis at the Emirates as Yaya Sanogo doesn't look a convincing deputy, but I reckon tonight's Champions League playoff second leg against Besiktas could be a nervy affair.

Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil look a lively trio of attackers but with no Giroud and Aaron Ramsey suspended, who's going to stick it in the onion bag?

How Arsenal must wish they had a striker of the calibre of Demba Ba. He caused the Gunners plenty of problems in the first leg, hitting the crossbar after about one second, and his performance may well spark a trend for ex-Chelsea forwards.

Everton have already pounced to sign Samuel Eto'o and there are rumours that Manchester United are chasing Mateja Kezman and Barcelona are after Robert Fleck.

Adrian Mutu looks a good fit for Liverpool's collection of naughty boys and Manchester City would be mad not to go for Tore Andre Flo as an alternative to Edin Dzeko.

Who knows, maybe some desperate club will even take a chance on that Torres bloke.

As for Arsenal-Besiktas, I'm going for the draw-Arsenal double result, possibly with emergency loan signing Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scoring a late winner for the Gunners.

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Match in Focus

19:45 TODAY

Hull v Lokeren

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Lokeren haven’t won in three away games this season
Expert verdict
Hull trail 1-0 from the first leg in Belgium and their Europa League form has hardly been convincing so far as they’ve won just one of three European fixtures. However, Lokeren could let the Tigers off the hook as they are far from impressive on the road, winning just seven league away games last term.