Can Arsenal take BOTH chances to prove PSG right about Chelsea?

I think it is fair to say that Arsenal were quite pleased with how the draw for the Champions League groups panned out this season. There were some easier clubs for us to get from the top seeded pot of title winners, most notably CSKA Moscow who our jammy north London rivals Tottenham got, but there were a lot worse as well, so we are happy to have dodged Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Juventus.

Arsenal could stake an early claim to top the group this week as we travel to face our main rivals PSG in France and it is a pretty good time to face them, as well. Not only are they weakened by a few injury problems (as are Arsenal) but they are not in great form either.

The Gunners may not have been exactly emphatic at the weekend but we did at least win and that made two in a row, whereas the Parisien club were held to a surprise draw by St. Etienne and lost the previous game to Monaco. They have a new manager in Unai Emery and are clearly taking time to get up to speed.

They also lost their main striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and sold David Luiz to Chelsea, so with Thiago Silva out of action they will be without their two first choice centre backs from last season. We should not make the mistake of thinking it will be easy though, even though their Italian midfielder Thiago Motta has been talking up our quality and saying that we will be tougher than Chelsea who they have faced with success in recent seasons.

He said, “Arsenal are a level above Chelsea because they like to play. We have not faced an English team that plays this way.”

Another of their stars, the Brazil international Lucas Moura was also reported by the Evening Standard talking about how hard they expect it to be against Arsenal.

He said, “The Champions League is coming and it starts with a tough match. We’ll play a very strong Arsenal team. We’re looking forward to it. Even against Saint-Etienne it was hard not to think of this match.”

They may have changed their minds if he saw us struggle against Southampton at the weekend, but if the real Arsenal do turn up in Paris tomorrow we could well prove the comments well founded. Then in a little under two weeks from now we will have another chance to prove Motta right, when Chelsea come to the Emirates.

The Blues lost their 100 percent EPL record yesterday with a surprise draw at Swansea and their next two matches are against Liverpool and Leicester so their confidence could be a bit shaky by then while ours could be much stronger after we face PSG, Hull and Nottingham Forest.

Do you think we will prove Motta right twice in the next two weeks?


Tags motta


  1. Bravox says:

    let’s just take it one game at a time,I still remember the Monaco game that was suppose to be easy

    1. Arsenal_Girl says:

      The article didn’t say “easy”. It said “easier”
      There’s a big difference

    2. mohawk says:

      Thank You. Exactly!!

      I have confidence in the squad make up – it is a good group of players. And I realize this site must generate new posts but …..

      it might be advisable for Arsenal to put in maybe 2 decent performances vs. even average teams before we begin adding up the points from the top level matches.

      This is especially true in August and September when Wenger is always ready with his early-season refrain of not having any “match fit” players.

  2. samtz says:

    Lets forget about our speed merchants and go for creativity VS PSG and we need COQUELIN as our really destroyer ,I would pick



    1. PiresTheLegend says:

      Disagree. Both Kurzawa and Aurier are hurt for PSG, so we should throw speed at their backups and see if they can cope. And anyway, I dont think Santi should play RW regardless.

      I do agree about Coquelin and Xhaka playing together though, because Wenger might not want to risk Kos due to injury. If our starting CB are Mustafi and Holding, I’d like to give them as much protection as possible.

      1. Fatboy Gooney says:

        Koscielny trained today and has been declared fit to play against PSG.

      2. jaweant says:

        Wouldn’t mind seeing Perez on the right. I like Coquelin with Cazorla behind Ozil or Xhaka and Cazorla. Hoping for a good game.

    2. mohawk says:

      1. The Xhaka/Coq pairing might look nice on paper but the reality is it has failed every time Wenger used it. The creativity and agility of Cazorla or Elneny is lacking.

      The lineup must include either Xhaka OR Coq paired with either Cazorla or Elneny. I would look for the best players vs. PSG. This is Xhaka and Cazorla.

      2. Cazorla has been invaluable in the deep middle. Why throw that away?

      Wenger played with Cazorla on the wing in past seasons. This just abandoned the play from that wing and made Cazorla uncomfortable. When Wenger did this before goal production went DOWN. There is little chance Wenger will attempt that failed experiment again.

  3. NY_Gunner says:

    Bet Koeman wishes he would have stayed at Soton…

    1. stubill says:

      Why, Southampton in 18th place on 2 points, Everton in 3rd place on 10 points! I know where I’d rather be!

      1. NY_Gunner says:

        Good point. But Everton don’t look like much to me…

  4. For this match I’d move ozil to the wing and replace with cazorla in cam, while partner xhaka with coquelin. . Perez in the center and Sanchez on the right completes what should a very attacking yet fluid line-up which should make psg think twice about being too enterprising.

    Xhaka and coq should give us the muscles to neutralize verratti and matuidi and if we found ourselves on the back foot, then xhaka balls to the front three could prove to be deadly… am predicting a 2-1 victory for us.

    1. mohawk says:

      You might want to think that one again. Wenger tried Xhaka/Coq together several times and it fell flat each time. Don’t look for it.

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