Arsene Wenger has revealed good news ahead of our Champions League first leg with Barcelona, announcing there were no new injury concerns following our goalless draw with Hull City in the FA Cup, as reported by Arsenal.com.
We’ve still got a few long-term injury concerns, with the likes of Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla unavailable (via Arsenal.com). Gabriel Paulista has also failed to recover from the hamstring injury he picked up recently, but thankfully there are no new problems.
“No [there are no new injuries], from today I believe the positive of the day is that [Danny] Welbeck came through quite well. He started for the first time in 10 months and he was one of the positives of the day,” Wenger said.
We really need to be at full strength if we’re to have any hope of beating Barcelona, so it’s great news that we’re almost there. Obviously Cazorla would be first choice in midfield if we had the option, but other than that we’ve more or less got everyone we’d want available.
Mesut Özil and Aaron Ramsey were rested for the weekend’s game, but should both return to the side this Tuesday. We badly lacked the German’s creativity on Saturday, and we’ll need him at his best to get the win against Barcelona.
Özil and Alexis Sanchez know Barcelona well, with the former enjoying the fierce rivalry between the Catalan club and Real Madrid, while the latter spent several years at the Nou Camp. We’ll need to draw from their experience and knowledge to get the better of Luis Enrique’s side, and ideally the Chilean will re-find his goalscoring form against his former side.
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Wenger named a much changed side against Hull this past weekend, as he clearly had one eye on the Barcelona game. We still should have had enough about us to get the win over the Tigers at the Emirates, but at least now we’ll have some of our stars fully rested for the midweek game.
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Even if we’re at our best we could still struggle, as Barcelona are pretty much the pinnacle of football right now. We’ll have to hope the La Liga giants aren’t on their game, and that we’re able to turn things up a notch.