In 48 hours time Arsenal will be getting ready to run out at the RheinEnergieStadion to face Koln, but as the Gunners have already qualified for the next rounds I can seriously see Arsene Wenger picking an even weaker team than usual, although he will be keen to keep most of the unbeaten second string side together as long as possible, and of course a win will guarantee us top spot in the Group although the chances of anyone catching us is rather slim anyway…
Koln have been dire this season, but their beating of BATE 5-2 in their last Group game has given a chance to try and come second in the Group so they may be trying a bit harder than the Gunners but honestly it doesn’t matter very much. We were a little disappointing against Red Star in drawing our last game so a win would be ggood to keep the second team in good spirits.
There will be a couple of enforced changes from the Red Star match as Olivier Giroud is on the sidelines, so I’m hoping that Wenger will give Danny Welbeck a run out although maybe the full 90 may be a little too much right now. Maybe Nketiah to share the game time?
One other guaranteed change is that Ospina will return in place of Macey. I’m also hoping that Calum Chambers can get a run out as well, alongside Holding and Debuchy, after his long break through injury, while Elneny could be finally moved back to his favoured midfield role.
So this is my idea of our line up on Thursday …
Chambers, Debuchy, Holding
Nelson, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Willock