Arsenal v Anderlecht
Kick off: November 4th, 2014 19:45 PM GMT
The Gunners host Anderlecht in the Champions League at a chilly Emirates stadium tonight, no sign of the unseasonably warm weather of last week as we dive into the winter period.
Wenger will be hoping for a smoother ride than a fortnight ago in Belgium where we saw a late Arsenal surge inspired by the incredible Alexis Sanchez secure a thoroughly undeserved 2-1 win.
Onto the lineup then. With no fresh injury concerns (thankfully) means the back line will be same as against Burnley. No good news on Laurent Koscielny just yet, and with some tougher fixtures on the horizon let’s hope he does return soon. Nacho Monreal has done alright though of late.
In midfield, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini have been the central midfield pairing on the last two occasions. Wenger has been toying with a 4-4-2 which has worked wonderfully in terms of Alexis’ contributions. But it came as no surprise to see Arsenal have a bit more zest when Aaron Ramsey came on against Burnley.
Wenger is seemingly remaining very cautious over Ramsey’s fitness and we may see the Arteta-Flamini partnership once more. With one eye on a number of big fixtures on the horizon it may be a wise idea to sick with that again. Jack Wilshere misses out through illness but is expected to be fit for Swansea.
Alexis needs a rest at some point and this game might be just right to bring in Lukas Podolski who looked fired up against Burnley and scored the match winner away to Anderlecht last time out. The Chilean will still be on the bench and should really be joined by Santi Cazorla who needs to spend every second of every day practicing his shooting!
The Spaniard has been useful on the ball but lacks the final product that was very much part of his game early on in his Arsenal career. He needs a rest and Tomas Rosicky, who hasn’t played a game since..forever, should start to add a bit more dynamism and umpth into the midfield. But Wenger may well just decide to persist with Santi.
Theo Walcott’s cameo was exciting but it was against a tired, bottom of the table side. It’s unlikely he will earn his first start of the season but will be involved. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain produced an encouraging display at the weekend and should start once more.
Up front the only options are Danny Welbeck and Yaya Sanogo. For the sake of continuity, let alone calibre of player, the Englishman will be given the nod.
Here is our predicted lineup:
Chambers Mertesacker Monreal Gibbs
Ox Rosicky Podolski
Do you agree Gooners? Share your thoughts below…