It’s all Euro 16 at the moment, so here’s a look at the Arsenal players who could play over the next 48 hours:
Granit Xhaka (Switzerland vs Romania)
Arsenal’s new signing looked excellent in the second game of the tournament when Switzerland beat 10-man Albania 1-0. It is important that Granit Xhaka and co do not lose today as they finish the group with a game against France. Switzerland are fancied to beat Romania and even a draw would almost certainly see them progress to the second round.
Xhaka showed excellent passing against the weaker opposition, whilst also making some strong challenges and showing a lot of energy. Romania didn’t offer much in way of attack in their opening night loss to France but they had a compact defence. The Gunners’ new signing plays as a holding midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 formation but it will be interesting to see how far forward Xhaka pushes if Switzerland dominate possession.
Olivier Giroud (France vs Albania)
France are heavy favourites to beat debutants Albania this evening with Didier Deschamps rumoured to give Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba a rest. No mention of Olivier Giroud being dropped after being a little wasteful in their opener, but most importantly he did score the opening goal of the tournament.
With Anthony Martial being used as a left winger, Deschamps doesn’t have a different option up front as André-Pierre Gignac plays a similar style. He also plays in Mexico now. Expect Giroud to start and with Lorik Cana suspended you can expect the Arsenal striker to see some good opportunities in this match.
Laurent Koscielny (France vs Albania)
France didn’t look so solid defensively against Romania but once again they’re playing a team that they’re expected to keep a clean sheet against. Bogdan Stancu missed a sitter from a corner but Romania’s goal came from the penalty spot after Patrice Evra committed a stupid foul.
The only criticism you could have of Laurent Koscielny in France’s first game was poor communication with Adil Rami. There didn’t look like much of a strong partnership between the two but man for man the Arsenal defender is definitely the best defender the hosts have.
Jack Wilshere (England vs Wales)
Roy Hodgson was heavily criticised for replacing Wayne Rooney with Jack Wilshere in the second half versus Wales. Wilshere has been on the end of a lot of criticism from England fans because he was injured for most of the 2015-16 season. However, we know he has the technical ability to be an important player for England.
Wilshere is unlikely to start versus Wales but there’s a good chance of coming on in the second half again to freshen up the midfield. Hodgson played three centre midfielders in the first game so there is plenty of opportunities to get on the field if he repeats his tactics versus Wales.
Aaron Ramsey (Wales vs England)
Aaron Ramsey was part of the historic Wales side that won their first-ever match at a European Championship by beating Slovakia 2-1. The Arsenal midfielder assisted Hal Robson-Kanu’s winner when stumbling into the penalty area as Martin Skrtel backed off.
There’s a lot of confidence in the Wales camp and if they’re to beat England Aaron Ramsey will need to put in a big performance. He’ll be battling with Spurs’ Eric Dier and Dele Alli in the middle of the park looking for one of his traditional deep unmarked runs into the penalty area.
Mesut Özil (Germany vs Poland)
Germany were one of the most impressive teams in the first round of games in beating Ukraine 2-0. A big game on Thursday for them with a winner of the match very likely to win Group C. Mesut Özil set up Germany’s second on the counter attack in stoppage time. Toni Kroos takes a lot of the set pieces off of him but Özil remains in the number 10 role.
Supported by Thomas Müller to the right, Julian Draxler to the left and Mario Götze up front, the Arsenal playmaker has so much talent to pick out to add more assists to his name during the tournament. Poland didn’t allow a single shot on target versus Northern Ireland but don’t expect Germany to be shut out.
Wojciech Szczesny (Poland vs Germany)
Wojciech Szczesny is still contracted at Arsenal after having an excellent season with AS Roma in Italy. Yet to be tested in Euro 2016 because Northern Ireland were so weak in their opener, we’ll see how good our Pole is on Thursday when he and his team come up against the World Champions if he’s deemed fit.
Defeat for Poland wouldn’t be horrendous in this game as they can still get through with a win or draw in their final game against a Ukraine team that doesn’t look great on paper and whom conceded lots of shots versus Germany.