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Arsenal vs. Manchester City: Match Preview

Good thing the fixture calendar got a lot easier suddenly.

He comes on, he scores.  Again, please.
He comes on, he scores. Again, please.
Julian Finney

Arsenal vs. Manchester City
English Premier League
Saturday, 29 March 2014 10.30AM PT/1.30PM ET/ 5.30 BT
Emirates Stadium, London
Form: ARS DWLW(div/0)(puke) | MCFC LDWWWW
TV: NBC Sports Network

Sometimes, these things are easy to write.  When things are going well, they flow like maple syrup (the real stuff, not that sugary Log Cabin crap) over pancakes.  You look forward not just to writing about the match, but watching it; seeing your team play well and perform when it counts is one of the best parts of watching any sport.

Then, there's Arsenal in March 2014.  There's all sorts of words one could use to describe what we're seeing - trainwreck, dumpster fire, clownshoesosity (the set of words in "all sorts" includes "made up words", you know), frustrating, maddening, get the gist.

Long story short, the sense of anticipation for this game isn't what it may have been, say, in January, when people started penciling this fixture in as a title decider.  It may still be, just not in the way Arsenal fans want it to be.

I feel like here I could recap the obvious - injuries, poor form, etc. - but I'm as tired of hearing about those things as you are of reading them.  So I will, instead, try to be an optimist; I will try to be the one who says "hey it doesn't matter what happened last weekend, Arsenal will be up for this game, and even if they lose, they'll make a game of it".

Because you know what?  I really believe that.  I believe that this past week has done more damage to Arsenal's pride and psyche than they're letting on, and I believe that they'll want to make amends tomorrow.  Do I believe they'll win?  I'm not sure.  But more importantly, I DON'T believe they'll dissolve like an overloaded paper bag in the rain, either.  Am I naive about that?  Probably.  But dammit, that's where I am: I'm an Arsenal fan, I'm not ashamed of that, and I never will be, no matter what happens.

So tomorrow, there'll be a game.  It'll go well, or it'll go shittily.  Either way, to borrow a chant from the Timbers Army (and about 5,000 other supporter groups):

North London till I die
North London till I die
I know I am, I'm sure I am
North London till I die