Arsene Wenger is going to have a dilemma on Tuesday if he is intending to rotate his starting line-up like he has done in Arsenal’s last two midweek games, with the massive game against League leaders Man United next weekend. With Giroud getting sent off against Zagreb a couple of weeks ago he will be suspended for this game, but Theo Walcott played for 80 minutes yesterday and is certainly not used to playing two games in any week! Not for a long time anyway…..
I know overconfidence is a plague on Arsenal, but the fact is that we are in good form, and even our reserves beat Tottenham, and the same side probably would have gained the upper hand in Zagreb if Olivier had not been petulantly sent off.
The facts are that Olympiakos have lost their last six European away games, and have lost on all their twelve visits to England conceding an average of three goals a game. Mind you Zagreb hadn’t won a Champions League game this century and look what happened there! Also, like Zagreb, they are unbeaten in their home League which is much tougher than the Croatian League but hardly comparable to the Premiership.
So, even if we play our reserves, who could we play as centre-forward to give Walcott a rest? We have Joel Campbell, who has played 12 official games for the Gunners but is yet to score a senior goal. What about promoting a youngster, like Iwobi, Willock, or Mavididi (who has scored in his last five games for the reserves). Or how about putting the Ox on the wing and putting Alexis as central striker after his wonderful hat-trick this weekend? The Chilean never seems to need a rest!
Or do you think that Wenger will start with Walcott, and then substitute one of the youngsters once (if!) we get a commanding lead? Is it possible that Wenger will play Walcott anyway and let Giroud start against Man United?
What would you do if you were Wenger?