It is far from being an ideal situation for Arsenal in the Champions League play-off tonight. We simply need to beat Besiktas in the second leg at the Emirates tonight, but the injury to Olivier Giroud has left Arsene Wenger in a very tricky situation.
Because of the World Cup and injuries disrupting our pre-season preparations, it looks like the Gunners may be forced to start the game tonight with a front three of players who are not really ready for action. Yaya Sanogo missed the last two games with injury and even if he has recovered properly, I doubt whether he is at 100 percent, but Wenger has little option but to start with the young French striker down the middle.
Then we have Alexis Sanchez on the right and Wenger has already admitted that the Chile international is only working his way towards full match fitness. And it looks like Lukas Podolski will get his first game of the season after his summer holidays were extended with the World Cup winning celebrations.
Even if the Arsenal boss decides to go with Santi Cazorla rather than the German striker, the Spaniard looks like he has been overdoing it on the tapas, so with us really needing to score tonight, I am worried whether the fitness issues up front will mean that we fail to make the UCL group stage for the first time in 17 years. Am I right to be so worried?