Arsene Wenger had already let it be known that a number ofArsenal first team players like Alexis Sanchez, Laurent Koscielny, Danny Welbeck and Kieran Gibbs would be left in London to recover and recharge their batteries for the Premier League games to come.
And with six young players from the academy system going in their place and the game against Galatasaray unlikely to make any difference to the Champions League standings, I wondered if Wenger might take even more risks and start with a couple of the young Guns.
But the manager has put his strongest possible side out, with the most interesting part of it being the return of our French international Mathieu Debuchy at right back, allowing Chambers to partner Mertesacker and Bellerin to show what he can do at left back.
THe midfield is not far off what he would have selected anyway, except for Oxlade-Chamberlain taking Santi Cazorla’s place. But the young Englishman has been in great form and his pace and power can do serious damage to any opposition.
The front line consists of three playyers that have been crying out for more playing time, so hopefully they can all use this chance to show Wenger that they deserve more minutes on the pitch.
Debuchy, Chambers, Mertesacker, Bellerin
Flamini, Ramsey, Chamberlain
Campbell, Sanogo, Posdolski
subs: Martinez, O’Connor, Kamara, Maitland-Niles, Zelalem, Iwobi, Akpom
The ideal situation is for the Gunners to get a comfortable lead and allow three youngsters to show their stuff, while Anderlecht stun Borussia Dortmund. But I think we should just enjoy the game and not worry too much. COYG