Arsenal go into Tuesday night prepared to entertain an Anderlecht side who troubled the Gunners just a couple of weeks ago.
On the back of two consecutive wins in the Premier League, the Gunners will aim to pick up another 3 points against the Belgian side, which will all but confirm their progression to the knockout stages.
However, following the 3-0 victory over the weekend, it won’t be a simple selection this week, with Wenger having a selection headache on his mind. The return of Theo Walcott and drop in form of a number of players will be key in his choices on Tuesday night.
I’ve taken a look at how Arsenal must adapt to face an opposition gunning for nothing less than 3 points.
Goalkeeper: Wojech Szczesny
Wojech will be keen to continue his work in-goal and is in no danger of being replaced at this stage. The form of Damian Martinez in the 2-1 victory over Anderlecht has woken him up, and since then has completed 2 back-to-back clean sheets against Burnley and Sunderland.
Right-Back: Hector Bellerin
Bellerin has been out of action for a number of games recently, with Calum Chambers sitting at right back since completing his suspension. Bellerin has shown he can perform in the Champions League, following his display against Borussia Dortmund.
Centre Backs: Calum Chambers and Per Mertesacker
Chambers was sensational against Burnley, really keen to get forward and swing in a number of crosses. This is why he should start at centre back against Anderlecht, there will be less going forward which will give him a little rest, it will also be chance to show his versatility in games and give us a chance to compare him to the Burnley fixture to see where he really shines best.
Mertesacker is gradually finding his feet again, but that can’t be said too loudly, after the last two games he’s had very little to do. If Bellerin plays, he’ll become a teacher again and gain some more confidence.
Left Back: Kieran Gibbs
Gibbs has done very little wrong all season, and following the latest injury scare at the weekend, he will definitely be used in this fixture.
His goal against Anderlecht was recently voted Goal Of The Month for October on Arsenal.com and he was the key to opening up their week right hand side, he will perform well Tuesday night.
Centre Defensive Midfield: Matthieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey will need to come in for Arteta in this fixture. The Spaniard struggled against Burnley and I don’t think Wenger is convinced he’s back to his full physical ability.
Anderlecht will be fighting hard in this one because they need to start getting points on the board, Ramsey provides us with fresh legs after he only played 30 minutes on Saturday. Likewise, the game changed after Rambo came on, with Arsenal scoring as soon as the Welshman was introduced.
Matthieu Flamini will also be brought back in and rewarded for a consistent display against Burnley at the weekend. He is the right man to have sitting in front of the defence against a bullish side.
Right Wing: The Ox
The Ox performed well at the weekend, and will want to continue that. Walcott isn’t quite ready to start this fixture, but The Ox will know he’s breathing down his neck. The fight back from Walcott can only be a good thing for Chamberlain, who will want to show Wenger he isn’t ready to be replaced just like that!
Centre Attacking Midfield: Alexis Sanchez
What can you say about this man? He is loving life as an Arsenal player.
Alexis has scored 10 goals in all competitions now for the Gunners, and has shown just what he can do with a ball at his feet. With Mesut Ozil out, it’s been a chance to see what he can do in the centre of midfield, and his drive to dribble through the defence is sensational. He will be keen to add to his impressive tally.
Left Wing: Lukas Podolski
It’s Santi Cazorla OUT, and Podolski IN.
Yep, too many fixtures now have seen Cazorla performing below average, and he knows it too. Looking back on the highlights, his head was always down after chances missed, and he looked frustrated throughout the game from not being involved enough.
Podolski may have only had a 10 minute spell, but in that time he produced over 5 shots on target, and came close to scoring if it wasn’t for the tremendous form of the Burnely goalkeeper. This is finally his chance, and he needs to show Wenger why he wants to stick around after the Christmas spell.
He simply MUST start instead of Cazorla.
Forward: Joel Campbell
For Joel Campbell, this is a chance to really shine. At the Emirates, behind a confident and happy crowd, the pressure will be off his shoulders.
In the return fixture, Welbeck had a frustrating game, having to keep coming back and collecting the ball in midfield. Campbell won’t want to do that, and he can stretch the defensive line with his more than impressive pace to open the pitch right up.
It’s not that Welbeck has done anything wrong, it’s simply that he has started every single game for club and country since joining the Gunners. He will be happy with a rest, and can always be brought on to sharpen things up if it isn’t quite going our way!
Hopeful Line-Up: 4-2-3-1
Hector Bellerin Calum Chambers Per Mertesacker (c) Kieran Gibbs
Matthieu Flamini Aaron Ramsey
Oxlade-Chamberlain Alexis Sanchez Lukas Podolski
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