The old European fixture nightmare has come back to Arsenal with a bang this season and this week sees the Gunners faced with their hardest few days. And although Arsene Wenger has suggested that he will focus on each game individually, I am sure that the short rest period will play a part in his team selection.
A nice long trip to Zagreb for the first group stage match of the Champions League on Wednesday means that the squad will not be getting back into London until the early hours of Thursday morning and we could hardly have asked for a worse follow up, an early Saturday kick off away to one of the big Premier League rivals.
Some players will have to start both games, but at least the boss now has two very real options for the centre forward position. He will want Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott to rotate and stay sharp and I reckon that each will get to start one of our next two games. But who should start in Zagreb on Wednesday and who should start at Stamford Bridge on Saturday?
My guess would be for the Frenchman to start in Europe. While Zagreb are at home and are totally dominant in the Croatian league, they have a terrible recent UCL record; earning just a single point from their last group stage and losing every single game the time before that. So I think they will be very defensive and deep and that is when Giroud´s strength, aerial ability and link up play are more useful than pace.
Chelsea on the other hand will be desperate for a win as a point does not really help them out of the deep trouble they are in. That sounds like a case for Walcott to me. What do you guys think?