Should BOTH Arsenal stars face their former club Basel?

This week sees Arsenal play host to the Swiss club Basel in our second Champions League group game and after the point we brought back from the away game at PSG, thanks to a bit of luck, a win on Wednesday would give us a great platform to go on and finally finish on top and go into pot one for the knockout stage.

Arsene Wenger was already faced with having to make a change in central midfield after the knee injury picked up our warrior Francis Coquelin. Just as he did against Chelsea, I expect the prof to bring in Granit Xhaka to replace the injured Frenchman and that will see our summer signing go up against his former club, although he had left Basel for the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach before turning 20.

By then Xhaka had already played 61 times for the Swiss champions and helped them to win a domestic treble of trophies. And after just half a season without Xhaka, Basel turned to another current Arsenal star Mohamed Elneny to fill the gap, which he did until Wenger sigmned him last January.

So Elneny will know all about Arsenal’s European opponents so I wonder if it might be an idea to start him in midweek. If Wenger really is serious about using Xhaka in the box-to-box role then we could have both of them in the middle against their former club.

That would mean resting Cazorla, of course, but the Spaniard put in a real shift against Chelsea and at his age it might be a good idea to keerp him fresh. What do you think Gooners?


Tags Elneny Xhaka


  1. Godswill says:

    Xhaka? Sure, he will replace Le Coq. Elneny to replace Cazorla? still okay but let’s win big. We should not gamble.
    The good thing now is that we have choices that are not too bad.
    I can’t imagine that Le Coq got injured on Saturday and Arsenal fans did not panic. This was simply because the bench had a very good cover. This is what wins the league. We even forgotten about one Danny because there are options.
    Lo Arsene, this what we meant to be competitive enough.

  2. butters says:

    the upcoming 6 easy games is a chance for rotation and slight experimentation with players and tactics, I think Wenger will do just that. hopefully we get to see Ramsey making a start and Giroud, Perez, Akpom as well. Bringing back Sanchez on the wings. Bellerin and Ozil should be rested some time, it would be a shame to have them run out so early in the season.

  3. Incarnate says:

    I’d play my first eleven in most games and try wrap up the games early so the subs can also get a run. Also, if Ramsey were fit, I’d definitely have him in my first eleven… Ramsey could not play with Coquelin at the base of midfield because until most recently, he needed to have a ball carrier right next to him right after winning the ball and in most cases Ramsey was always very far from him but Cazorla is far more disciplined in positioning hence why “Coqzorla” works so well however with Xhaka, its quite different because he can carry and distribute his own balls and frees Ramsey up to roam which is where he thrives best, it is no coincidence that Ramsey had his best season playing with Arteta but while Arteta could also carry and distribute his own balls he is no ball winner like Xhaka or Coquelin.

  4. T2T says:

    You can argue there are for reasons to have a bog squad: 1) injuries; 2) tactical changes; 3) avoid burn out; 4) keep players on their toes
    Cazorla is great but from what I’ve seen lately, he need a week’s rest between games. Start with Elneny and Xhaka as the central pairing, let Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lucas, Ospina, Holding, Gabriel, Akpom, Jeff get some playing time as well. If not resting all of out first XI, at least mix it up somewhat. Injuries often come when players are tired.

    What about letting the starting point be the team we played against Forest adding some first team players?

    Just kidding – let’s play the strongest team we have while looking at Burnley on Sunday. We do have four days between the games. We can use subs to give players some rest as well. Rotate 2-3 players and plan to use 2 subs around 60 minutes. Do the same on Sunday.

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