round up archive
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League - Roosters Looking for Revenge
Roosters, Sportsbets favourite at $1.67 will be out
for some sort of revenge on Friday night when they
take on the Panthers ($2.10) at home in a re-match
of last year's grand final.
Roosters look unstoppable so far this season having
not lost a game but the defending champions have had
some gritty wins to be second on the ladder. For the
Roosters, Ryan Cross remains in doubt with a leg injury
but Michael Crocker will return to the bench after
suspension. The Panthers have Ryan Girdler back for
the first time this year after his recovery from respiratory
Meantime Sportsbet has Newcastle at $2.75 while they
prepare for the first of many games this season without
injured captain Andrew Johns. Ben Kennedy will skipper
the side in the match against St George-Illawarra
(currently at $1.45) at WIN Stadium while Kurt Gidley
stands in for Johns in a playing capacity.
remains a question mark over the fitness of Robbie
O'Davis while the Dragons welcome back Mark Gasnier.
Other games this weekend: Canberra are favourites
at $1.47 and play hosts to Parramatta ($2.65), North
Queensland ($1.47) takes on Wests Tigers ($2.65),
the Rabbitohs ($2.75) play the favoured Sharks ($1.45),
the Storm ($2.55) travel to Brisbane ($1.50) and the
Sea Eagles ($2.50) tackles the favoured Warriors ($1.50).
- Pigs So Close
West Sydney Razorbacks have the edge heading into
the fourth game of the NBL grand final series against
the Kings. Game four of the best-of-five series will
have to be pretty special if it's to beat the intensity
and excitement of game three which saw the Pigs come
away with victory at the Entertainment Centre in overtime.
Sydney is now only one game away from its first NBL
championship and that match will be at the State Sports
Centre where the home team has never lost in the finals.
Shooting from the field is one thing the Sydney Kings
will have to improve on for Sunday if they're to force
the series to a fifth and deciding match. Both teams
should have all their players to choose from for the
tussle. West Sydney's Simon Dwight managed to play
in the third game despite suffering ligament damage
in his knee last Friday and will be expected to suit
up for the fourth match. If the Kings win on Sunday,
the final game will be at the Entertainment Centre
- Power Tipped To Get the Glory
2004 National Soccer League season is winding down
with Parramatta Power taking on Perth Glory ($2.35)
in the grand final in Sydney this weekend. It is fitting
that Parramatta and Perth are fighting it out for
the NSL crown as both have been the dominant teams
all season. The game will be played in Parramatta
and Power coach Nick Theodorakopoulous is hoping Sydney
soccer fans will come to the match and provide the
home-ground advantage his players need to get them
over the line.
at $1.55, is favoured to win the match after beating
Perth, currently at $2.35, in the semi-finals but
the defending champions showed by thrashing Adelaide
last week, they can't be underestimated.
Bobby Despotovski led the way in that victory and
will need another stellar effort on Sunday to help
his team to further glory. A win will be even more
special for Despotovski who will retire from the game
after the final. But perhaps a win for Parramatta
will mean the most of all as the club won't be a part
of the new eight-team league for 2005.
League - Rabbitohs on a Winning Streak
After four rounds South Sydney finds itself in the
unusual position of fourth place. Following their
round one loss, everyone expected the Rabbitohs to
continue their woeful form but South Sydney has proved
otherwise. Despite losing star recruit Terry Hill
early in the season the Bunnies have picked themselves
up and have now won two matches from three. With no
obvious injuries after the Cronulla game South Sydney
could post another victory this weekend, away against
the wildly unpredictable Parramatta. The Eels are
unlikely to have Ronald Prince after he suffered a
nasty knee injury in the loss to Canberra.
Another team consistently inconsistent is the Dragons
and they take on the improving Wests Tigers this weekend.
After being thrashed by the Storm it was St George-Illawarra
doing the walloping against Newcastle with a stellar
defensive and offensive effort in Wollongong. The
Tigers will be without Benji Marshall for the game
after hurting his shoulder. Pat Richards and Michael
Buettner also remain on the sideline with injuries.
Rugby Union - Injury Worries for ACT, Reds
Brumbies have pulled clear of the pack at the top
of the Super 12 ladder. They may have lost to the
second-placed Crusaders last weekend but the ACT is
firming as the team to beat in this year's Super 12
competition. The Brumbies take on the Highlanders
next at Canberra Stadium but could be without veteran
David Giffin who hurt his back in the loss to the
Crusaders. X-rays will determine the extent of the
injury with Giffin to be replaced by Radike Samo if
bad news is delivered.
plagued by injury problems is Queensland. Nathan Sharpe
and Tim Walsh are in doubt for the match against the
Stormers but Elton Flatley could return to play his
100th game for the Reds despite the ruptured tendon
in his right thumb.
New South Wales has now slipped to equal sixth on
the ladder after losing their fourth game in a row.
The Waratahs have the bye this weekend and will have
to produce something special when they return to be
in contention for the semi-finals.
- Victory Eluding Cats
was so promising in the pre-season but things aren't
looking so good after two bad losses. The Cats admittedly
don't have eight of their best players on the field
at the moment but had promised depth and a complement
of young players to make up for having the more experienced
players on the sidelines. It appears to have been
an empty promise with Geelong hammered twice in as
many weeks and showing no signs of improvement. Adding
to the team's woes, Brent Maloney is on report for
striking. The Cats will now face the Swans in Sydney.
The home side has injury problems of its own with
Michael O'Loughlin again damaging his hamstring in
the win over Fremantle.
Meantime, Essendon has found itself at the bottom
of the ladder with Geelong after going down to frontrunners
St Kilda. The Bombers take on West Coast, possibly
without Mark Johnson and Mark McVeigh who have both
aggravated hamstring injuries while the aggressive
on-field actions of several players including James
Hird will more than likely face review.
- Kings Show Class
2004 NBL grand final series is going down to the wire
with game five to be played on Tuesday. Many thought
the series was all but won after the Razorbacks took
out game three and given their flawless finals performance
at home. The Kings, however, showed their class winning
at the State Sports Centre and the grand final series
will now be decided by a fifth game on Tuesday at
the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Both teams have stepped
up the pressure defensively and this area will again
be the key for the decider. The Kings only concern
is the fitness of CJ Bruton who had to leave the court
early in game four after suffering an injury but he
will be likely to play through the pain barrier on
Tuesday. Kings coach Brian Goorjian is predicting
a crowd of 10,000 but no matter how many people watch
from the stands, the Kings will go into the match
tipped to win their second NBL championship in a row
after one of the most exciting grand final series
- Easter Thursday Blockbuster at the Gabba
The grand final replay between Collingwood and Brisbane
kicks off the AFL action over the Easter holiday.
Collingwood's narrow win over the Bulldogs last week
has done little to sway their punters lack of confidence.
The Magpies have already drifted from $4.00 out to
$4.25 in their match of the round against Brisbane
this Thursday night while the Lions have received
solid support at $1.25 and $1.22. Brisbane will be
tipped by many to overcome the Magpies at the Gabba
but Lions coach Leigh Matthews is predicting a tough
contest. Brisbane welcomes back Alastair Lynch, Jonathan
Brown and Luke Power while Rhyce Shaw returns for
Collingwood after being dropped in round two. Brisbane
has yet to lose a game while Collingwood has tasted
victory and defeat.
Carlton, it has been a tough week, sacking Laurence
Angwin after he tested positive to a drug in an in-house
test. Angwin's friend and teammate Karl Norman has
also been dropped for the weekend's match against
the Kangaroos and fined $5,000 for the same offence.
Carlton has had a win and a loss so far this season
while the Roos share top spot on the table after two
other matches, Essendon takes on West Coast, Sydney
is at home to Geelong, Port Adelaide hosts Hawthorn,
the Bulldogs meet Melbourne, Adelaide is away to Fremantle
and St Kilda plays Richmond.
NRL Vagana In, Bird Out
It has been a bitter-sweet week for Cronulla with
one player rejoining the team and another sent to
the sidelines for a long spell. After missing the
first four matches of the season, prize Sharks recruit
Nigel Vagana will finally make his debut for the club
against the Cowboys at Toyota Park. Vagana has fully
recovered from off-season shoulder surgery and his
inclusion in the team is expected to give the Sharks
a much-needed boost. One player who won't be taking
part in the match is five-eighth Greg Bird. He has
been suspended for ten games by the NRL judiciary
after kneeing the head of Rabbitoh Shane Marteene
The Roosters are $1.67 against the Broncos this Friday
night, looking to bounce back after suffering their
first defeat at the hands of Penrith last week. Two
suspensions on top of a growing injury list will test
their depth so it's no surprise to see steady support
for the Broncos at $2.20.
has another reason to strive for back-to-back premierships:
the imminent retirement of Ryan Girdler. The 31 year
old has decided to retire at the end of the season
along with Martin Lang and Panthers coach John Lang
says his team will try to send them off in style.
Penrith takes on the Storm while it's the Roosters
v Brisbane, Newcastle is away to the Warriors, the
Tigers take on the Dragons, the Bulldogs meet Manly
and Parramatta is at home to South Sydney.
Rugby Union - Brumbies Need Focus
Can the Brumbies put the drama of the past week behind
them when they meet the Highlanders at home? The Brumbies
might be sitting at the top of the Super 12 ladder
but that hasn't stopped the ACT Rugby Union from taking
the unusual step of telling coach David Nucifora his
contract won't be renewed at the end of the season.
Player unhappiness is believed to be behind the move
which has deeply distressed Nucifora. The team, and
Nucifora, now has to regroup for the task ahead of
them: the Highlanders at Canberra Stadium.
the Stormers are in Australia this weekend to take
on the Reds on Saturday. The South African side is
looking good for a semi-final berth and should beat
Queensland but says it's wary of the embattled home
side. The Reds still haven't given up hope Tim Walsh
and Elton Flatley will take to the field despite their
matches see the Blues play the Bulls, the Sharks host
the Crusaders and it's the Cats v the Chiefs.
Soccer - Arsenal under Pressure
Arsenal is now in the unusual position of needing
to win this weekend to help secure at least one trophy
this season. The Gunners had looked like taking out
the Champions League, FA Cup and English Premiership
but now only the latter is up for grabs after losses
to Chelsea and Manchester United. Arsenal takes on
Liverpool and Newcastle this weekend and the club
has admitted the pressure is on now it's just four
points clear of Chelsea on the Premiership ladder.
Both Thierry Henry and Fredrik Ljungberg are in doubt
for the games with Henry suffering a hamstring injury
and Ljungberg's hand giving him trouble.
Meantime, the Blues play Middlesbrough away with the
knowledge a win will intensify the race for the Premiership.
fixtures: Everton meets Tottenham, Birmingham tackles
Manchester United, Blackburn plays Leeds, Bolton hosts
Aston Villa, Charlton takes on Portsmouth, Leicester
is up against Fulham and Wolves are at home to Manchester
Monday April 12th
Rugby League - Brisbane Back to
After some lean seasons, 2004 is
looking like Brisbane's year with the side posting
four wins from five matches. Brisbane is beginning
to perform like the Broncos of old, putting together
some impressive wins including the most recent victory
over the Sydney Roosters. In that match, Barry Berrigan
showed why he deserves his place in the team and will
be a player other teams will watch carefully from
now on. Brisbane takes on the Cowboys next with Stuart
Kelly expected to be back in the side for the all-Queensland
encounter after recovering from a sternum injury.
Another team fighting back is Newcastle
with the away victory over the Warriors showing they
can win without Andrew Johns. Halfback Kurt Gidley
stepped up for the match, scoring two tries and two
goals to give Newcastle fans some hope the 2004 season
might be a good one even with Johns sitting on the
sidelines. The Knights appear to be in good shape
leading up to the clash against the Roosters with
all the players getting through the New Zealand game
and Matt Parsons to return from injury.
Soccer - New Goal for Chelsea
Chelsea is now playing for second
in the English Premier League after a disappointing
result against Middlesbrough. Chelsea needed to beat
Boro if it had any chance of winning the league but
only managed a nil all draw. The Blues are now well
behind Arsenal and are resigned to the fact they've
missed their chance for Premiership glory. Claudio
Ranieri said it's disappointing but it now means they
can focus on the Champions League although keeping
Manchester United out of second place continues to
be a motivation. If Chelsea is going to do that, a
win over Aston Villa on Monday will be vital and the
team will have to do it without Claude Makelele who
has injured his knee.
Meanwhile, Leeds takes on Everton
at home with renewed hope it can avoid relegation.
The embattled team will be desperate for the momentum
from the victory over Blackburn to spill over to help
them to another win and lift them above the bottom
Other games coming up see Liverpool
take on Charlton, Middlesbrough plays Southampton,
Portsmouth hosts Birmingham, Tottenham meets Manchester
City, Wolves play Bolton, Fulham tackles Blackburn
and Manchester United is against Leicester.
Rugby Union - Victory More Important
than Ever in Super 12
Things are getting serious in the
Super 12 with only four rounds to go. Many thought
the drama at the Brumbies would have an adverse effect
on the team. It didn't and now the ACT side is all
but assured a spot in the semi-finals after a searing
win over the Highlanders. The Brumbies have the bye
this weekend ahead of a blockbuster match against
the Waratahs in Sydney - a game New South Wales must
win especially if it can't beat the Hurricanes at
home this Saturday. That horror four weeks away coupled
with the bye last weekend has left the Tahs in equal
seventh position and now battling for survival. They
have to win at least three of their last four matches
and hope other results go their way to have any chance
of semi-final berth. The Blues are in a similar position
although, unlike the Waratahs, Auckland had a shocking
start to the season but has now found form. The next
four games for Auckland have been made even tougher
with a number of players suffering injuries including
Steve Devine and Kevin Mealamu.
An eight goal haul from Matthew Lloyd
saw the Bombers cling on to a six point win over West
Coast in the match of the year so far. Essendon were
easily the best backed team in Round 4 of the AFL.
Supporters happily took the $2.30 while Lloyd was
suspended then smashed the $2.00 into $1.80 after
the spearhead was reinstated.
Punters have erred by reading too
much into the Brumbies coach sacking saga. The Highlanders
were heavily backed at the line from +16.5 into +14.5
but left their money in the bag after going down by
League - Vagana Out Again
won't have prize recruit Nigel Vagana for the crucial
home match against Canberra. It might only be round
six but the Sharks are starting to slide down the
slippery slope to a very poor NRL season already.
In another blow, centre Nigel Vagana (who had only
just recovered from injury) has been suspended for
one match after failing to have a grade two careless
high tackle charge downgraded at the judiciary. Canberra
goes into the match a rested side after having the
bye over Easter.
the Roosters will be looking to break an unfamiliar
losing streak when they travel north to take on the
Knights in the first game of the season in Newcastle.
While a number of first grade players are yet to return
to the line-up because of injury, the Roosters have
Adrian Morley back after his suspension. Heath L'Strange
starts at hooker and Ned Catic has also been named
in the side although remains in doubt after being
concussed last weekend.
In other matches the Bulldogs take on the Warriors
in Wellington, North Queensland hosts Brisbane, Melbourne
plays South Sydney, the Dragons take on Penrith and
Manly tackles Parramatta.
- Saints Suspended for Un-Saintly Behaviour
The tribunal has been unkind to St Kilda this week
ahead of the match against Adelaide. Saint Kilda,
victorious in all three games this season, faces Adelaide
at AAMI Stadium this weekend but without Aaron Hamill
and Stephen Baker who have been suspended for one
and four matches respectively. Baker's ban for an
ugly incident involving Richmond's Kane Johnson won't
be appealed but the Saints could contest Hamill's
one match suspension for tripping. Jason Blake will
also miss the match as he recovers from a nasty back
Adelaide isn't without its suspension headaches with
Rhett Biglands to miss four games for striking. The
Crows easily beat the Saints in their last encounter
but haven't been able to win a game so far this season
so St Kilda will be expected to win.
Carlton takes on Essendon in the clash of the glamour
clubs who have had a not-so glamorous start to the
season. Both sides have won just the one game. Other
matches see Melbourne playing Port Adelaide, West
Coast Eagles meet Brisbane, Geelong tackles Richmond,
the Kangaroos meet the Swans in Canberra, Collingwood
takes on Fremantle and Hawthorn battles the Western
- Vital Match for Arsenal and Leeds
is eyeing the Premiership silverware and will be a
step closer to lifting it with victory on Friday.
Arsenal is now seven points clear of Chelsea on the
Premiership ladder with just six games to play. The
side's next match is against Leeds - a team also needing
a win but for a different reason. Continuing to hold
down the third last spot on the ladder, Leeds is still
in grave danger of relegation. The Gunners team is
unlikely to contain Ashley Cole and Freddie Ljungberg
as both are injured but Ray Parlour could return after
a two month lay-off with knee problems.
currently in second place, takes on Everton with questions
still surrounding the future of coach Claudio Ranieri.
The Italian has held lengthy talks with the club over
the past week but it's still not known if he will
remain at Stamford Bridge beyond this season.
Also playing this weekend: Portsmouth and Manchester
United, Blackburn and Leicester, Bolton and Tottenham,
Charlton and Birmingham, Liverpool and Fulham, Manchester
City and Southampton, Wolves and Middlesbrough and
Aston Villa and Newcastle.
Monday April 19th
St. Kilda proved themselves the real
deal defeating Adelaide at Football Park on Saturday
night. The Saints are now second pick at $5.00 for
the flag behind Brisbane at $2.90. Port Adelaide despite
copping a flogging at the hands of underdogs Melbourne,
remain third pick at $5.50. Serious questions are
sure to be asked this week in the Richmond and Hawthorn
camps. Both teams have started the season poorly after
promising much more. Also under the pump are Collingwood
who must regroup for the Anzac day clash with Essendon.
They face a huge task to overcome the bombers with
injuries to big guns Buckley and Tarrant.
Rugby League - Roosters Gain Momentum
Ahead of Dragons Match
The Roosters are back in the winner's
circle but face a tough assignment for round seven.
Before the game against Newcastle, the Sydney Roosters
were in the unfamiliar situation of having lost two
games in a row. Last year's finalists have bounced
back with a confidence-boosting win over the Knights
but this weekend face the in-form St George-Illawarra.
The Dragons thrashed the Panthers last weekend leading
many to believe the boys in red and white could be
serious premiership contenders this year. On the flipside,
however, captain Trent Barrett has suffered a hamstring
injury and could miss the game against the Roosters.
Team-mate Ben Hornby could also be in trouble with
the judiciary after being reported for a high tackle.
The injury situation is easing for the Roosters with
all players appearing to get through the Newcastle
game and others on the sidelines looking to return
in the near future.
Things aren't so positive for South
Sydney. After the Rabbitohs' good start, Adam MacDougall
is now out for the season with an Achilles tendon
injury suffered in the massive loss to Melbourne while
Bryan Fletcher could also miss their next game against
the Bulldogs with foot problems.
AFL - Swans Flying
Sydney is stamping its authority on
the 2004 AFL season, joining a swag of teams in second
place. The Swans were the surprise package last year
and this year they're showing it wasn't a fluke now
high on the ladder with three wins and a loss. Those
victories include last weekend's magnificent effort
over the Kangaroos in Canberra thanks to the resurgence
of Jason Saddington and the consistently good Barry
Hall and Brownlow medalist Adam Goodes. The only concern
for Sydney ahead of this weekend's match against Melbourne
at Telstra Stadium is Tadgh Kennelly's concussion.
Meanwhile, two teams at the other
end of the equation, Richmond and Adelaide, open round
five at the MCG on Friday night. The Crows have surprised
everyone and themselves by failing to win a game after
four rounds while Richmond has only had the one win
forcing the club to publicly back coach Danny Frawley,
especially following the big loss to Geelong. Adelaide
is likely to recall Ian Perrie with Nathan Bassett
expected to miss the game because of ankle problems.
Rugby Union - Waratahs Ready for
New South Wales remains well and truly
in contention for the Super 12 semi-finals. After
four losses in a row, the Waratahs needed to beat
the Hurricanes at home as much for morale as for their
chances of a semi-final berth. In the end the victory
was relatively easy and New South Wales is now just
three points out of the top four with three games
to go. Posting a win over their next opponent, however,
won't be easy as the Waratahs go head-to-head with
tournament favourites the Brumbies. The ACT side has
had the wood on New South Wales in recent years with
more bad blood simmering between the two teams following
the defection to Sydney of Justin Harrison and Dan
Vickerman. Defence is one area the Waratahs will need
to improve on if they're going to beat the Brumbies
while there's also the threat of the unknown. Waratahs
coach Ewen McKenzie has said he won't be surprised
if the Brumbies produce something different given
they've had two weeks to prepare for the match.
Soccer - Chelsea Focus on Champions
It's crunch-time for Chelsea, taking
on Monaco in the semi-final of the UEFA Champions
League. After bowing out of the race for the FA Cup
and the Premiership, the UEFA Champions League is
the one piece of silverware Chelsea can get its hands
on. Many believe the Blues will do it this year now
Real Madrid, Manchester United and Arsenal are all
out of contention. Chelsea takes on Monaco away in
the first leg of the semi finals while Deportivo meets
Porto in the other semi. The Blues are coming off
a 0-0 result against Everton meaning the side hasn't
had a victory in three games over the past week but
was missing a number of players such as John Terry,
Damien Duff and Claude Makele. All, however, are expected
to travel to Monaco for Tuesday's match which Chelsea
goes into as favourites.
The other semi-final isn't as clear
cut but Deportivo is seen as having the slight edge
over Porto. The Spanish side is in the final four
after producing an amazing 4-0 victory over title
holders AC Milan to advance and will be hard to beat
if it puts in a similar performance this Wednesday.
League - Bulldogs Battle Broncos
Bulldogs take on Brisbane in a top of the table clash.
The Bulldogs have, for once this year, had a good
week. Police have announced none of the club's players
will be charged over gang rape allegations, morale
is high and everyone is promising to teach the Broncos
a lesson or two about rugby league. The task, however,
won't be simple with Brisbane only two points behind
Canterbury on the NRL ladder. The Broncos will be
without experienced forward Brad Myers as he has a
neck injury and will miss up to a month of football
while the Bulldogs are likely to be at full strength.
the battle for Sydney's south is on with the Dragons
taking on the Sharks at Toyota Park. St George-Illawarra
prop Luke Bailey and skipper Trent Barrett will definitely
play while Jason Ryles is also a possible starter
after recovering from a serious shoulder injury. The
Sharks, searching for their third win in a row, have
named an unchanged line-up.
In other matches, Penrith takes on the Tigers, Newcastle
hosts the Rabbitohs, Parramatta plays North Queensland,
the Warriors must win against the Storm and the Roosters
- Saints Keen to Prove Themselves against Brisbane
the last three years, Brisbane been the team to beat
in the AFL but this season there is one side doing
better. The Lions are still flying high on the field
and on the ladder in 2004 but the form side of this
year's competition is St Kilda. The Saints, Wizard
Cup winners in the pre-season, have yet to lose a
match after five rounds and will now meet Brisbane
at Telstra Dome on Saturday. The side will be boosted
by the return to the backline of Luke Penny and possibly
Max Hudghton after a two month absence. Brisbane will
miss Ash McGrath and Dylan McLaren through injuries
suffered last weekend.
While it's top-of-the-table in Melbourne, the battle
of the west is happening on the other side of the
country with Fremantle meeting the West Coast Eagles
at Subiaco. The Dockers, who have long lived in the
shadow of the Eagles, have had a stronger start to
the season sitting in fourth position with West Coast
in tenth spot.
Also playing this weekend, Richmond and Hawthorn,
Kangaroos and the Western Bulldogs, Essendon and Sydney,
Geelong and Adelaide, Melbourne and Carlton, Port
Adelaide and Collingwood.
Union - Semi-Finals Spots On the Line
South Wales is looking for another win to sure up
a position in the Super 12 semis. Another sell-out
crowd is expected as Aussie Stadium on Saturday afternoon
when the Waratahs take on the Highlanders. The New
Zealand side needs a win to have any chance of making
the semis while victory for New South Wales will probably
see a re-entry into the top four but a loss won't
be the end of the road. It will, however, mean the
side will have to beat the Reds at Ballymore the following
weekend while relying on other results. The Waratahs
don't have any noticeable injury concerns but the
Highlanders could miss Seilala Mapusua and Ryan Nicholas
The Chiefs will also need to win this weekend if they're
to make the playoffs for the first time. The team
is coming off a solid victory ahead of Friday's match
against the Bulls, again in Hamilton. The Chiefs are
currently in fourth spot on the ladder.
fixtures this weekend see the Blues against the Sharks
in South Africa, the Cats are at home to the Reds,
the Crusaders meet the Stormers and the Brumbies host
Soccer - Arsenal Looking Ahead
the Premiership isn't enough for Arsenal with the
side setting a new goal. Arsenal has well and truly
recoverd from last year's Premiership disappointment
winning the trophy this season. The achievement, however,
isn't enough with the Gunners now aiming to go through
this year's league undefeated. On paper, the task
looks relatively easy with Arsenal facing the likes
of Portsmouth, Fulham, Leicester City and, this weekend,
Birmingham. Motivation will be the key but Arsenal
star Patrick Vieira has indicated that won't be a
problem, believing team spirit has got the Gunners
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