This is the biggest game of the season so far for Arsenal, with the winner taking a place at the top table of European club football and the loser getting their midweeks off for the next few months. A 0-0 draw with Besiktas in Turkey leaves the Gunners slight favourites with tonight’s match at the Emirates, but the away goal situation does leave us in danger.
And a harsh red card for Aaron Ramsey last week combined with the ankle injury picked up by Olivier Giroud at the weekend, means that two of our biggest goal threats are not going to be on the pitch. Even so, Wenger has resisted starting with the German striker Lukas Podolski and stuck with Santi Cazorla on the left and gone for the pace of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right.
Alexis Sanchez gets another chance through the middle and we need him to do better than the first half at Everton. The good news is that we have our first choice central defensive pairing of Mertesacker and Koscielny back, which will hopefully mean a clean sheet as a platform for an Arsenal win.
Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal
Chamberlain, Ozil, Cazorla
subs: Martinez, Chambers, Coquelin, Rosicky, Podolski, Sanogo, Campbell
So there are plenty of attacking options available on the Arsenal bench. Let’s hope it is enough…