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Do you get that twinge of excitement before a game when you have been playing rather well? That is very much how I am feeling at present, I also hope the players are feeling similarly ‘gassed’ as the youth of today might say. It means excited, you know as excited as you would be at winning a chunk of cash.

We are back in the Champions League groove after a very difficult match day one experience. Playing the favourites of the group away from home in the first game can work to your advantage if you are able to pick up a result come the final whistle, luckily we were able to get that result in the end but it was really tough, especially during that first half.

You can almost split the start of the season and our current run of good form in those first and second 45 minutes. The first half was pretty painful, we were pressured and penned in our half by an energetic PSG side who struck first after only 42 seconds.

We were very lucky to keep the score down to just the one but we looked a completely different team in the second half, we had imposed our own game on them and our new super striker Alexis Sanchez struck to equalise. We’ve gone on to improve after that and have not looked back since.

I’m loving the chemistry that appears to be developing in our attack over the last few games. Scoring has been an issue in our team in recent seasons but we seem to be doing quite ok in that department at the moment. The movement and understanding between Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi has been a breath of fresh North London air, when you spread a thick layer of Mesut Ozil into the mix, it all starts to look very tasty.

This is why I do not expect to see many changes tonight. I’ve read a few predicted line ups and there seems to be an urge to see the likes of Lucas Perez, Kieran Gibbs and the like and I understand the yearning to want to see something different, something new especially in the case of Lucas Perez but I get the feeling that Arsene feels he has something now. Our last two performances in the league will have Arsene giddy like a kid and he will want this group of players to continue to grow their relationships on the pitch. Plus of course the season is only a few weeks old, we haven’t really entered into two game a week territory just yet.

David Ospina will return back in the team as Champions League keeper but I wonder if any other changes will be made. If there was to be one then perhaps the older legs of Santi Cazorla could swap with Mohamed Elneny. It is against his former club so I wonder if Arsene would take something like that into account? I don’t know really.

I expect the rest of the team to remain the same though.

Mean Lean’s Predicted Line Up:

How did I forget to mention the Coquelin and Xhaka switch? I’m not with it today it seems. So of course Francis Coquelin is out for three weeks, which is such fantastic news. Not that he is not available of course but we were all bracing ourselves for a long term absence.

Granit Xhaka now has a chance to cement his place into this team and show his quality. If he is paired with Santi then I am interested to know which one will primarily be the deeper player and which one will be tasked with pressing higher up the pitch. Going by Arsene’s comments my guess is that Xhaka will replace Coq like for like and when we have the ball those two will be pretty free to rotate between themselves.

I’m still waiting for the Ozil assist and Xhaka pass to the assister. Maybe that will come again tonight.

As we all know and have been told over and over again, Basel have an excellent record against English clubs in this competition in recent years. They have beaten Chelsea (who doesn’t), Manchester United and Liverpool. I was interested to know what there record was away from home against those English clubs and it reads as follows:

Liverpool 1 Basel 1
Chelsea 1 Basel 2
Manchester United 3 Basel 3

Ok fair point, I expected their success to be largely at their own ground but they are undefeated from those matches.

That said it’s difficult to judge those games as they were a few years ago. Five years in Manchester United’s case.

So what do I know about FC Basel? One of the players is the brother of our Granit Xhaka and that they sold us Mohamed Elneny. Oh and also that they play in the Swiss league. I won’t overload you with such solid information for the time being.

An Arsenal victory would set us up nicely for this group, if we can achieve that by playing similar football to the brand we played a few days ago then I’ll be one happy Gooner.

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more