Arsenal vs. Dynamo Zagreb: Team News & Predicted Line Ups

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Arsenal will host Dynamo Zagreb as they return to Champions League action in a game that has to be won to keep them in the tournament.

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The Gunners need to get a win at the Emirates and hope Olympiacos slip up against Bayern Munich to ensure their chances of reaching the knockout stages stay alive.

As always, Arsene Wenger released all of the latest team news during his pre-match press conference, in which he confirmed that one Arsenal player will be back in contention.

Following the 2-1 defeat to West Brom on Saturday, the boss will almost definitely be shaking up the squad, so we’ve taken a look at who’s available for both sides.

Arsenal

Team News

A huge blow came for the Gunners today, as it was confirmed Francis Coquelin would be out for at least two months following a serious knee ligament injury sustained at the weekend.

However, coming straight back in for the Frenchman is Aaron Ramsey, who joined in full training ahead of the game, and Wenger reassured fans the midfielder would be in the squad.

Theo Walcott and Mikel Arteta will also be left out of the squad and we can expect to see the duo return within the next two weeks.

Long term absentees in Danny Welbeck, Thomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere will also be unavailable yet again.

Overview

Following those latest injury nightmares, there will be a new look to our midfield against Zagreb, and you can expect to see one of Mathieu Flamini or Callum Chambers come in for Coquelin.

Despite their inexperience of starting a regular game for the Gunners this season, Wenger has insisted that Chambers can follow in the footsteps of Eric Dier and cement a position as a holding midfielder.

Elsewhere in the squad, we’re likely to see changes in defence with Per Mertesacker failing to capture a good run of performances recently.

Despite the lack of options though, this is a game in which Arsenal have to attack and of course, score as many goals as possible to ensure the goal difference is improved.

Ultimately, it will be a case of getting confidence back in this side from the start, so you can expect a strong percentage of possession for the home side during the opening half an hour.

As much as they need to score goals by pushing high, Arsenal need to be on their toes in defence and therefore you can expect Gabriel to start so they have an ability to hold the high line.

Predicted Arsenal XI: Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Cazorla, Flamini, Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud (4-2-3-1)

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Dynamo Zagreb

Team News

The Zagreb side are looking dramatically different since the last time Arsenal came up against them, with Arijan Ademi out after suffering a four-year UEFA ban for failing a drugs test.

Domajob Antolic and Gordon Schildenfeld are the two big names missing through injury, which means a shake up in the starting lineup will be inevitable.

Also missing the tie is Josip Pivaric, after he sustained two yellow cards during the Olympiacos game which results in a one match suspension.

Overview

This is a tough one to look at for Zoran Mamic’s side, and realistically it comes as a bit of an inconvenience because their chances of qualifying are dead and buried.

But looking at the game in a different sense, Zagreb can still make their way into the Europa League by beating the Gunners and finishing firmly in third place.

Therefore, this isn’t going to be a case of playing a B-team style side, but they will have to react to losing a significant amount of players, a bit like Arsenal’s scenario.

It’s quite a daunting challenge to come to the Emirates for this club, but they will have a strategy to drive by the home team and make them dig deep for a result.

Expect them to be reserved in their play, they will take chances and aren’t afraid of making mistakes because it suits their style of play, which can be very tightened in the middle of the park.

Currently second in their own league table, they’ve enjoyed a positive season so far, and a victory at the Gunners would provide some serious bragging rights for the underdogs.

Predicted Zagreb XI: Eduardo, Sosa, Pinto, Matel, Taravel, Hodzic, Santos, Machado, Sigali, Henriquez, Rog (5-3-2)

Prediction: Arsenal 2 – 0 Dynamo Zagreb

This is a game in which Arsene Wenger needs to show some sort of reaction, and it could be a fixture that could mark the season for a club riddled with injuries at the moment.

However, there’s not a single player in a red shirt tomorrow night that doesn’t understand the importance of this result, and ultimately the Gunners will have too much presence.

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