Arsenal travel to Monaco on Tuesday evening for a crucial second-leg in the Champions League, with the North London side staring down the barrel of an exit after a 3-1 defeat in the first-leg. This means Arsenal need to score three in the South of France to advance.
Arsene Wenger doesn’t have any major injury concerns, new ones at least, so there’s a difficult selection process ahead to choose a team capable of the large victory required.
Goalkeeper: David Ospina has to start in this crucial game as Wojciech Szczesny showed shakiness last week against Manchester United and Ospina performed well against West Ham. He is currently the club’s number one and that should be reflected here.
Right-Back: Calum Chambers played at the weekend and performed well going forward but Hector Bellerin will likely come straight back into the side after his rest, due to the fact he is a better overall player. Chambers will also be shaky against likely Monaco counter-attacks.
Centre-Back: Arsenal’s first choice centre-back pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker will reunite for this game and a poor performance from Mertesacker could drastically effect his future. However, he has performed well recently.
Left-Back: Nacho Monreal will be high on confidence after his goal against United last week and that morale booster will be beneficial. However, he must not go kamikaze down the left and he needs to be defending well for this time.
Central-Midfield: Francis Coquelin and Aaron Ramsey would be my choices for this game. Coquelin has showed his worth recently and is needed in front of the back four, whilst Ramsey provides an attacking benefit. It also means a forward role for another key player.
Left-Wing: Mesut Ozil would be my choice due to the fact of who I have chosen in the middle. We need him to be at his best and he could be set for a difficult game. However, due to his sheer class, he has to start here but would be better utilised out wide to make way for my central star.
Attacking-Midfield: Santi Cazorla is the stand-out choice for the central attacking role as he will not be afraid to get his hands dirty. His effectiveness in the middle has been apparent this year and in a game like this, we will need his service going forward.
Right-Wing: Alexis Sanchez will be called upon massively in this game as he is a player that can grab the game by the scruff of it’s neck and is a potential match winner. Out on the right he will be a thorn in the side of Monaco and would work well in front of Bellerin.
Striker: Olivier Giroud had a horror show in the first-leg and will be looking for redemption. After the first match he has been in a decent run of form, including another goal at the weekend. He will be crucial here and if he’s off form, then Arsenal will have problems.
Bench: This gives Arsenal plenty of impact options from the bench, including Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott. I’d be tempted to play the Ox but Ozil is better so needs a chance. If it’s not working though, Wenger must not be afraid to make an early change- this is not a game we can afford to wait with if things are not working.