After the shock of seeing some top teams drop down into the Europa League, Arsenal still have to play their last group game tonight against BATE. We have already easily qualified as group winners but BATE still have an outside chance of reaching the knockout stages if they win this game.
Although the game is a dead rubber, Wenger has made it clear that he will still be playing his experienced reserves to give them a little more match fitness ahead of our congested fixture list in the rest of this month, so it is certain that our front line will consist of Wilshere, Walcott and Giroud again, although I expect Welbeck to be given a run out as well at some point.
Wenger said when asked if our winning the group would affect his team selection, and he replied: “Not too much, because I have many players available who need competition. Next week we go into a week with three games and so some players need competition, some experienced players. We’ll play quite an experienced team tomorrow.”
So this is the most experienced side that Wenger could play…
Debuchy, Mertesacker, Holding
Chambers, Coquelin, Elneny, Maitland-Niles
Walcott, Wilshere, Giroud
I am sure that he will give a couple of youngsters like Nelson, Nketiah or Willock a chance to play if given the chance, but I am hoping for some impressive performances from our reserves to prove they deserve promotion for our League games, but after our last few underwhelming Europa League displays I won’t be holding my breath….
So, on that note, I am going to predict a fighting game from BATE, who have absolutely nothing else to play for but this game, but we will have just enough quality to win the game. So my score prediction is 2-1 to the Gunners…