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It's up for grabs now: time for Arsenal to show their true character

Another draw at Emirates Stadium did neither Arsenal nor Liverpool any favours on Saturday, as both managers selected weakened sides for the Premier League clash.

Now Arsenal travel to Liverpool for tomorrow's Champions League showdown knowing that they have to score to progress and every Arsenal fan old enough to remember May 26th, 1989 will be hoping Arsene Wenger can drum that sense of achievement into today's squad.

If you are not aware of that fateful night, it was the final game of the season and Arsenal needed to beat Liverpool by two clear goals to win the league title. Arsenal had not won at Anfield in 15 years, but a goal early in the second half by Alan Smith gave the Gunners hope and in injury time Michael Thomas wrote himself into folklore when he slotted home the second.

Personally, I think he would do well with simply showing the players the movie Fever Pitch when they're travelling north for the game, thus giving them a bit of a giggle, as well as a sense of how much these results mean to us lowly fans - the people who pay their wages.

A victory tomorrow night (or even a 2-2 draw) would give the Gunners the momentum to go to Old Trafford on Sunday to remind Manchester United that they won't have it all their own way in the final sprint to the Premier League title. And it would also, of course, set up a Champions League semi-final with either Fenerbahce or, more likely, Chelsea, giving us Gooners another massive game to savour as the season draws to an end...

So as we all anxiously await kick-off tomorrow night, the hope among us supporters is that the team can reproduce that spirit of 89 and teach Liverpool a lesson in their own back yard.

This Arsenal team is infinitely capable of getting the right result, as they have shown in the past two games that they are a better team than Liverpool, but the one fear we should all have is that the Gunners go 1-0 up and then sit on that lead. 1-1 at full time would mean extra time and the possibility of penalties. Watching Cesc Fabregas and Mathieu Flamini on Saturday, the midfield duo look exhausted, so I'm hoping we can get the job done in 90 minutes.

Victory tomorrow would help silence all the pundits who are now saying "I told you so" about Arsenal's season. Thing is, they forget that most of them said we wouldn't finish in the top four and that Tottenham would be challenging for the title, so they shouldn't be too smug.

If you need to get hold of a copy of Fever Pitch, Arsene, just let me know and I'll happily bring my DVD to the stadium or London Colney so that you and the boys have some inspirational entertainment on the road to Anfield.

Progressing to the semi finals of the Champions League will give everyone connected with Arsenal a fitting finale to the 2007-08 season, but if we come away from Liverpool with nothing, as in Fever Pitch, the only thing we'll have to look forward to is when next season's fixture list is printed.

What do you think? Will Arsenal emerge victorious from Anfield tomorrow? Or will Rafa Benitez and his boring boring tactics help Liverpool into the final four yet again? Share your pre-match thoughts here

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Posted by Gordon Masson on April 7, 2008 10:58 AM in Champions League| News| Players
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Posted by: LIVERPOOLFC | April 8, 2008 9:54 PM

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