The 18 man squad that played against Burnley will be the same for the Anderlecht fixture. Jack Wilshere -who was suspended for the Burnley game- is suffering from illness and won’t be back in time. long-term casualties; David Ospina, Mathieu Debuchy, Laurent Koscielny, Abou Diaby, Mesut Ozïl and Olivier Giroud are all still out injured, so it’s likely Wenger will call on a similar side for the one that beat Burnley on the weekend.
Wojciech Szczesny, who missed the last Champions League game in Belgium, will keep his place in-goal, and it’s likely Wenger will go with the same back four again. I’ve had my doubts about Monreal playing in the heart of the defence, but so far he has done well and merits his place in the side. Alongside him will of course be Per Mertesacker. Bellerin perhaps deserves a place in the starting line-up, and after Gibbs’ recent injury, there is a slim chance Wenger may go with the Spaniard at right-back, Mertesacker and Chambers in the centre, and Monreal at left-back. This doesn’t seem particularly likely though and I think Wenger will go with the back four that has done ever so well in the recent matches.
With that in mind, here is the predicted line up for the Champions League clash:
Goalkeeper: Wojciech Szczesny
Szczesny is now eligible to play in the Champions League again following his ban, meaning he will step straight back in to the first team. Emiliano Martinez will step aside to make room for the Arsenal number one, despite a good performance in Arsenal’s last match with the Belgian outfit.
Right back: Calum Chambers
Chambers had a fantastic game against Burnley at the weekend, assisting Alexis Sanchez’s first goal, and getting on the score sheet himself to bag his first goal for the club. He’ll be on the team sheet at right back tomorrow.
Centre back: Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal
Since Koscielny’s injury, Arsène has stuck to his guns and continued to play Monreal at centre back, and of late, it hasn’t been a problem. Clean sheets against Sunderland and Burnley mean that Arsène will start the Spaniard at centre back again tomorrow. And, of course, Mertesacker is the natural choice to partner him.
Left back: Kieran Gibbs
Kieran Gibbs’ injury free run has seen him capture the sort of form that can earn him a place in the England set up. He is showing what a talented left back he is, and there is no question that he will be starting tomorrow.
Centre midfield: Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey
Arsène conceded that Ramsey was suffering slightly from an illness last week. However, following his substitute appearance against Burnley, it is safe to assume he will be starting. Arsenal must win this game and a home match against Anderlecht means he should be partnered with Arteta. If he is fit, I can’t see any reason why Arsène would opt to start Flamini.
Centre attacking midfield: Alexis Sanchez
Alexis has been in outstanding form so far this season and he seems to flourish in the number 10 role. It gives him the freedom to do what he does best, run at, and beat defenders. More so than that, he scores. A lot.
Left wing: Lukas Podolski
I’ll admit that this is an outside prediction, and, if anything, it is more hopeful than anything. Podolski played a key role in the comeback against Anderlecht in Brussels scoring the winning goal, and could have scored a hat trick following his introduction against Burnley at the weekend. Santi Cazorla has been in desperately poor form and it seems the logical choice to drop him and give Podolski the chance he deserves.
Right wing: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Alexis Sanchez was Arsenal’s best player against Burnley, closely followed by Ox. His energy and drive forward played a huge part in lifting the team, and the tempo of the game. He seems to have developed a great understanding with Alexis and the two can cause real damage to Anderlecht tomorrow.
Striker: Danny Welbeck
‘Dat Guy Welbz’ is going through a bit of a dry spell at the moment, and, against Burnley, was unlucky not to have bagged a goal. It was only a couple of good blocks that stopped him netting a goal; he did everything else right. If we play with the same tempo and creativity we showed against Burnley, I back Danny to grab a goal or two,