We have a chance to qualify for the last 16 tonight, an Arsenal win on top of some favourable results elsewhere will see us in at least second spot but it feels like a kinda weird situation with the North London Derby lurking over the hill on Sunday. Could well be worth checking out the exclusive BetOnBrazil promo code before that game.
It is going to be very interesting to see what Arsene does with the line up tonight. Theo Walcott, Nacho Monreal, Hector Bellerin and Santi Cazorla will be left behind due to injury or knocks (that’s probably the same thing isn't it?) so we are going to witness some degree of rotation anyway. Oliver Giroud sat alongside Arsene Wenger at the pre match presser yesterday and I swear Giroud indicated that he would be playing tonight, or perhaps I just read more into something that meant very little. That said, how many times has an Arsenal player sat alongside Arsene pre match and not started the following day? I don't know but I cannot remember that ever happening before.
Feels like I say this a lot but it’s an interesting one. Giroud scored a quick brace and is as fresh as a daisy. He needs games but Alexis looks super duper as our central striker, not only that but the two players are so very, very different.
Another interesting factor is the opposition. They tend to leave plenty of room to be exploited in behind them, at least they did that at the Emirates so you’d imagine they will be up for a bit more of that at their own ground. Giroud isn’t really going to be able to get the most out of that. The one thing that Giroud may have in his favour is the amount of crossers he might have around him. Jenkinson coming in for Bellerin, Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain as well as Ozil. That seems like a group of players who can all play to the big mans strength. He's so scoring tonight. A fresh and confident Giroud loves to grab a goal.
Theo might have been pretty handy for this game on the break so I’m banking on the Ox to cause them a lot of problems tonight and keep up his good recent run of form.
If Giroud comes in then I expect Alex Iwobi to drop out, it was telling that he started against Reading in the EFL cup so it would make sense that he sits this one out allowing Alexis to move to the left once more.
Granit Xhaka is available tonight but I’m not even sure he will get the start which I bet will drive many a Gooner mad but I just don’t see it. Elneny has been slowly improving and Coquelin is the type of player who will be important against a very mobile and technical side.
It would make sense to spread out the fixtures around to our midfielders so I could well be wrong on this but I don’t know, not sure if our central two will change tonight or on Sunday.
Mean Lean’s Predicted Line Up:
The 6-0 victory against Ludogorets a few weeks ago is probably the closest 6-0 game I’ve ever seen and I’m pretty sure it will be quite a tough game tonight if we are not switched on, especially as we are bound to make some sort of changes to the team so our usual cohesion might not be at it’s very highest.
I think the game will be far closer than the first game and it should be another entertaining end to end affair so I’m expecting goals once again but perhaps a little more shared out.
If we defend well as a team then we will win this game but we are going to have to put in the effort all around.
Victory, no injuries, a boost for Ozil and plenty of Arsenal goals would be kinda ideal but I’d take just the first two if needed.
It should be a good game of football though so I’m looking forward to this one.
Come on the Arsenal oh and FC Basel can do us a favour by getting some sort of result tonight too, so come on them also.