Arsene Wenger could still have a surprise or two up his sleeve for us when he puts in the Arsenal team sheet for the Champions League match against Barcelona this evening, but I think that the team he picked for the FA cup clash with Hull City on Saturday as well as the Arsenal injury list makes it fairly easy to guess most of the players that will start against the Spanish champions.
Having rested Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez for Hull they were always likely to start tonight and the fact that the Chilean will have the extra incentive of facing his former club while the Frenchman was the player sat with Wenger at the pre-match press conference seals the deal for me.
But the question of who will fill the third forward role, assuming that we keep our usual formation of course, is not quite so easy. As reported by The Mirror, the former Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez thinks it should be Danny Welbeck as he spoke about the England international being potentially a key player in this European double header.
The Spaniard said, “There is no doubt that Barcelona is playing well – with a lot of confidence.
“But Arsenal have had some good news in the last few weeks. Alexis Sanchez is playing regularly and with Welbeck coming back that will help their game.
“If they can keep the ball with these two players up front they will be more dangerous.”
I am not so sure though, as Welbeck has not played on the right too often and he did play a lot of the game at the weekend. So did Joel Campbell but he is more match fit and I would say that he he is better in possession. With the way we expect the game to go though, it might be the pace and threat on the counter attack that is more important and Welbeck does offer this.
Then again so do Theo Walcott and the Ox, and if Walcott had not played the full game against Hull I would have expected him to start against Barcelona, but maybe Wenger is saving him as an impact sub. Perhaps Benitez is right and it will be Welbeck that gets the nod. What would you do Gooners?