There is nothing like an upcoming Arsenal fixture after a convincing result and performance in the previous match. The hope is that the players are feeling similarly excited and more importantly, confident.
We are already moving into CL must win territory which feels 'little bit exaggeration' after one Champions League game but defeat in Zagreb has left little room for error in these games, especially at the Emirates. Although our performance against Stoke City was much improved, I don't feel the same confidence in our home matches that I had for the majority of last season, if we are to kick on this season then we really need to feel at ease in North London once more. So hopefully we play well tonight.
Tonight's opponents have been the type of fixture we have thrived in, in the past. In fact we have played the Greeks three times at the Emirates since 2009 and have won all three games scoring 7 goals and conceding just 2. That is pretty convincing stuff but it isn't something we can take for granted. Our record against West Ham was pretty decent as well and look how that turned out. As ever it is about the performance on the day from the team.
We play tonight (Tuesday) and then again on Sunday which is the appropriate gap needed to recover unlike the Wednesday/Sunday combo that wasn't so good. Plus both our games are at home which one would assume makes a positive difference.
So on to the team and potential line up for tonight, Wenger gave an indication as to what he is looking at when it comes to picking his 11.
"Some players played tough games, two games at Tottenham and Leicester of a high level physically so we will have to analyse that today and make my decisions."
The only players to play in both games for the full 90 minutes were Per Mertesacker and Aaron Ramsey but Arsène has somewhat of a problem. Both Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini will miss tonight's game with injury and I think in an ideal world, Arsène would want to give Francis Coquelin a few extra days off and not risk his knee so even though Ramsey played in both games, I wouldn't be surprised if we continued with Ramsey in the middle alongside Santi. That would open a door for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to start down our right against the same opposition in which he scored his first Champions League goal.
It appears as if David Ospina will get another go in goal. Perception is a funny old thing isn't it? During our second half of the season run in which we were the form team of the division, there wasn't much in the way of panic when the Columbian played, mainly because he did not do a great deal wrong but now that we have upgraded (fair to call it that) we panic when he comes back into the team. Well fingers crossed he has very little to do anyway.
Mean Lean's Predicted Line Up:
It is a difficult one to predict. That above team lacks a bit of defensive security, especially in midfield but we have issues with three of our defensive midfielders so maybe we have to spread out the responsibilities to the entire midfield rather than one man tasked with anchoring the team. Or maybe Coquelin will be passed fit to play and won't have any problems, either way I want him fit for the weekend so do what cha gotta do Bobby
So here is a quick check list for Arsène and the players
1) Win convincingly
2) Entertain me
3) Allow Walcott to continue scoring
4) Get Ramsey on the scoresheet
5) No Injuries
6) See number 5
I hope that is not asking for too much, if it is then I'll take 1 and 5 from that list.
It will be interesting to see how Theo Walcott does tonight won't it? A lot of folk are now talking him up after his weekend showing so I hope he is feeling confident and can add to his tally. It is quite amazing how many chances he has had since the start of the season. I suspect his conversion rate will improve in the next few months but even if it doesn't, he will still have a good chance of scoring most weeks.
Right gotta shake a leg, back tomorrow with the usual post match stuff.