When Arsene Wenger gives a press conference ahead of an Arsenal game there is usually one of the players there with him to answer questions from the attendant football media, and it is almost always one of the players that the manager plans to be in the starting line-up for the game.
So judging by the fact that it was the French central midfield star Francis Coquelin sat next to the boss today ahead of the Champions League match at home to Ludogorets Razgrad, I assume that Le Coq is set for his first Arsenal start since picking up a knee injury in the Premier League win over Chelsea.
That leaves the question of who will play alongside him in the middle and I have a feeling that it will be either Granit Xhaka or Mohamed Elneny and not Santi Cazorla. Even though Coquelin describes this European match as a massive game for us in an Arsenal.com report I think Wenger will also be thinking about squad rotation.
Coquelin said, “It’s a massive game, especially as it is at home.
“We know we’re going to have two more tough games away too, against Ludogorets and Basel, plus a home game against Paris Saint-Germain. So it’s massively important to get the three points on Wednesday.”
With Xhaka out for the next three Premier League matches I think it will be him that gets the nod in the Champions League, with the Spaniard saved for the even more important EPL game at the weekend. Maybe the energy and work rate of Xhaka will be more useful against the Bulgarians anyway, while Arsenal could do with as fresh a Cazorla as possible against Boro on Saturday.
What do you think Gooners?