Should Arsenal play a full strength side against ‘English experts’ Basel?

Arsenal fans and some football pundits may be expecting the Gunners to run riot again on Wednesday when Basel come to north London for the second Champions League group game, but Arsene Wenger is certainly not taking the game for granted and with good reason too.

As reported by the Evening Standard our manager was quick to point out the brilliant recent run of results that the Swiss champions have enjoyed against clubs from the English Premier League, which includes victories over Liverpool, Chelsea and Man United.

Wenger will no doubt be trying to instil in his players the need for full focus in midweek but I wonder what the Frenchman is thinking about squad rotation. We do have a heavy schedule ahead of us, but not until after the next international break.

There is an EPL game at the weekend to consider but it is the late Sunday kick off and against Burnley so I do not think we need to make any changes other than Xhaka for the injury hit Coquelin. The only other one I would consider is Elneny for Cazorla, to keep the Spaniard fresh and also to exploit the extra energy you often get when a player faces his former club.

What do you think Gooners, should Wenger field his strongest possible Arsenal XI to face Basel?


Tags Elneny Wenger Xhaka


  1. gbengress says:

    Olympiacos came to my mind. Read a similar article before the match, only for it to boomerang and the same writer blaming Wenger

    1. Break-on-through says:

      It’ usually a raft of changes at the back people are most uncomfortable with.

      1. karansagar says:

        Bellerin – Mustafi – Koscielny – Monreal
        Xhaka – Cazorla
        Walcott – Ozil – Iwobi

  2. Trudeau says:

    Tough one as it could be a banana skin but I’d like to see some rotation – especially for players who will soon be seeing international action. Over the next two games I expect to see Ospina, Elneny, Ox, Perez and Gabriel (or Holding) get at least one start each.

    1. PiresTheLegend says:

      The Forest game gave a little taste, but I’d like to see us be able to rotate our team and continue to compete at a high level. Our backups should be hungry and wanting to break through, and I’d like to see at least some of Ospina, Holding, Gabriel, Gibbs, Elneny, Lucas Perez, Ox, perhaps Reine-Adelaide play tonight.

      It is important for a great team to have backups who challenge for first team places – the season is long and tiring when you play nearly year round for 60 games. Lets see how hungry our backups really are, and get a measure of how good our team really may be.

  3. arsenalkid1970 says:

    Play the best 11 then go 3 up then rest players but I would play RH it’s a good game for him and rest LK

    1. mkgooner says:

      These abbreviations can take a while to work out…

  4. Break-on-through says:

    I worry about Theo’s fitness, if he gets injured it’ll be Oxlade, who hasn’t really looked good enough recently, a bit of a liability actually. If not Oxlade it will be Giroud returning and Alexis going back to wing, I’d rather keep him up front as would most I assume. I’d consider resting Theo. I don’t know if I’d make a change at the back, we already have a new GK coming back in. I’d like to see more of Holding but we might be better off building on our partnership at the back. I’d consider resting Cazorla, no need for last season’s disappointment to happen now that we have options. It is an important game, but we have to manage the team better, a home game is a good opportunity to rest one or two esp in a competition were we are massive outsiders. I think we’ll have to choose games to rest Monreal, he’s at that age and it’s a long season, also he is vital to our defence. I wouldn’t rest him in this one though, one or two at most and I already gave my two.

    1. Trudeau says:

      The good thing with Monreal and Carloza is that they’ll get rest over the international break. Belle rain too unless Spain wake up and call him into their squad. I’m more worried about Koscielny as he is becoming undroppable for France and he ain’t getting any younger – strikes me as someone who needs a rest sooner rather than later.

      1. Break-on-through says:

        Yeah, I’d definitely find some games to rest Kos, but I’d wait for him and Mustafi to get better acquainted. CB’s don’t do as much running as a full back, and I wouldn’t want to make to many changes seeing as we have a bit of a streak going.

  5. lcebox says:

    We play our best team available cause anything less than a win and all the hard work at PSG is gone.

  6. Vlad says:

    You always play your best XI, especially in the Champions League. You can rest a couple of players here and there, perhaps against Burnley, as well as in the FA and EFL Cups, but you gotta go with the lineup that will most likely get you 3 points. International break is coming up, so the guys can get some rest then.

    1. NY_Gunner says:

      Watching Burnley last night. Looks like they’re trying to do a “LC”…They ground out a solid win against Watford. So I’m expecting them to be ready for us when we travel to Turf Moor.

      1. jonm says:

        The last time I went to turf moor, burnley were ready for us. Arsenal won but it was a close game. If we do rotate players we need to ensure that the balance of the team is maintained and the players are motivated. It will not be an easy game and if we are not properly prepared we will probably lose. If we play like in the chelsea game we will win.

  7. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Take advantage of some of the players who haven’t played a lot like Xhaka Perez or Giroud and Holding.

    We need to rest players. Coquelin played a lot and got injured. I don’t want to see Walcott, I koscielny etc play two much.

    1. jonm says:

      Why should we rest kos so that he is fresh to play for france? What is the advantage for arsenal?

      I suppose if he goes in to the international break needing a rest, france will still play him so it increases the risk of injury and he will come back needing to be rested.

  8. Big G says:

    Absolutely yes, the champions league is not a competition to mess around with team selection especially given the fact we now have a chance to finish top of the group if we can win our other games before we play PSG.

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