If Arsenal wanted a game to test the water in different positions, then this could quite possibly be the perfect chance to do it.
The Gunners travel to Switzerland knowing that three points still won’t be enough to top the group if PSG don’t slip up against bottom of the table Ludogrets.
That’s left Arsene Wenger with a difficult decision to make on the starting XI he uses in what could be his final Champions League group stage game with the North London side.
Wenger has the option to rotate in plenty of areas in this side in order to rest some key players and build momentum in the whole squad before the weekend’s test against Stoke City.
Basel on the other hand, have one thing in their mind and that’s Europa League qualification, and having home advantage over their competition in Ludogrets is a massive bonus.
Whilst this game will come too soon for him, Hector Bellerin is next on the list to return from injury and he’s now targeting the chance to feature against Man City on the 18th.
Olivier Giroud is available after shaking off a minor groin problem, and he’s likely to step in for Alexis Sanchez at centre forward following the Chilean’s incredible effort at the weekend.
Danny Welbeck and Per Mertesacker are chasing down early January returns after re-joining training at London Colney, two great reinforecments for the fixture pile-up.
Mohamed Elneny is expected to start after being dropped at the weekend, he’ll come in to replace Francis Coquelin at the heart of midfield due to the Frenchman being suspended.
Arsenal Absentees: S. Cazorla (ankle), M. Debuchy (hamstring) D. Welbeck (match fitness), P. Mertesacker (match fitness), H. Bellerin (match fitness) C. Akpom (back)
One To Watch
Arsenal – Olivier Giroud
I really hope Giroud gets his chance to start because it’s a great game for him to show he’s able to control our attack from the first whistle.
He’s struggled to get a start this season with Alexis’ form and constant injury setbacks, so Tuesday night poses a chance for Wenger to mix things up and let the Frenchman grow on his confidence.
When he’s been required to do a job he’s done it without questions asked and as difficult as it is to see him replacing Alexis, a top level performance here can have massive repercussions.
Danny Welbeck is coming back into the side soon and a fully fit Lucas Perez also gives Wenger an option in the attacking area so Giroud must ensure he takes any chance he gets.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Ospina, Jenkinson, Mustafi, Koscielny, Gibbs, Elneny, Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud
Prediction: Basel 1 – 2 Arsenal
Some changes in the starting XI will be great to see, but I don’t see Arsenal having their heads fully screwed on and that’s why there’s likely to be a mix up at the back.
That being said, the Gunners have way too much quality to take to Basel and they’ll want to build on their Premier League momentum with another victory.
We’ve got a squad where every single player is fighting for their place week after week and that can only be seen as a good thing, especially on our wide options with Walcott and The Ox beginning to pick up their game massively.
Should be a fairly straightforward one and similar to the test against Bournemouth because Basel won’t sit back, they need the win just as much as Arsenal.
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