Arsene Wenger has given his team news ahead of this evening’s clash with FC Basel and said that many of the same players will be involved. It was suspected that Arsene Wenger might use the match as an opportunity to rest some major stars but it seems like that will not be the case.
Match: FC Basel v Arsenal
Stadium: St. Jakob-Park
Kick-Off (GMT): Tue 6 Dec 19:45
Arsene Wenger was joined by Granit Xhaka for his pre-match press conference. The Swiss international is, of course, a former FC Basel player and everything indicates that Xhaka will take part in this evening’s match. The midfielder played 90 minutes against West Ham at the weekend and it seems that there won’t be many changes for this evening’s match.
“No, basically we have the same squad,” Wenger said in his pre-match press conference. “Coquelin is suspended and has been replaced by Olivier Giroud who is in the squad so overall it’s stability.
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“I have to decide tomorrow [if I will change things around] but I believe that we want to win the game and do our job and continue to win the games we play and you never know what’s happening in Paris.
“We are unbeaten up until now and we just want to win the next game.”
Wenger was then asked if he would use the match as an opportunity to rest some of his star players. Alexis Sanchez scored a hat-trick on the weekend but with the busy run of Christmas fixtures just around the corner, the Chilean surely won’t be able to play in every match.
“We have a squad that’s united and we make a decision tomorrow who will start and who will not,” Wenger went on.
“I believe that when a guy is successful and confident it’s more dangerous to stop him than to keep him going. What is physical and what is mental in that is always very difficult to predict.
“Who is tired and not tired? We are not advanced enough and we have no real medical signs that some players are tired so I kept them all together.
“I haven’t decided yet honestly. It’s very difficult to give you an assessment on that, we have 24 more hours. My main priority would be to win the game.”
The Gunners need to win and hope that PSG slip up at home to Ludogorets if the gunners are to top Group A. However, unlike previous seasons, a second placed finish in the Champions League may not be the worst thing in the world. There are a number of big teams expected to finish second and a number of slightly smaller clubs set to top their respective groups. Maybe the Gunners will finally get into the quarter-finals of the Champions League after six consecutive first round exits.