It would be great if Arsenal could travel to Turkey on Tuesday with a fully fit and fresh squad, win our final Champions League game and then celebrate after hearing that the Belgian champions Anderlecht had done us a massive favour by beating Borussia Dortmund in Germany.
Unfortunately, despite all the fairy dust being sprinkled around in the run up to Christmas, miracles do not happen and none of the things mentioned above are likely to happen. The Gunners might well beat Galatasaray as the Turks have been woeful in their European games this season, but it looks like we will have to do it with the reserves.
Arsene Wenger has already declared that Alexis Sanchez will not even travel, and with Laurent Koscielny still not fully fit and quite a few of the fit Arsenal players needing a rest after playing so many games, I suspect that the boss will be tempted to leave a few more of his first team players in London or at least on the bench. We must focus on the Premier League now and there are a flood of fixtures just around the corner.
In a way, the red card for Calum Chambers helps Wenger out on one decision, as the 19-year old is set to miss next weekend’s game against Newcastle and it is then another week before our next game. So Chambers can play in Turkey and then have a good rest, probably at centre back with Bellerin at right back.
After that it gets tough, as I’m sure the Frenchman would love to rest all four of Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs and Monreal as well as the likes of Welbeck, Chamberlain and Cazorla. So will it be an Arsenal academy XI that runs on the pitch on Tuesday night?