Arsenal head to Bulgaria on Tuesday night, looking to maintain their push for first place atop the group. The Gunner have been one of the form sides in Europe so far this season and remain unbeaten since their opening day loss to Liverpool. After a few stuttering seasons in Europe where Arsenal crucially slipped up to finish second place in the group, it seems Arsene Wenger has realised that he can’t let that happen again.
Although on paper the game against Ludogorets seems like an easy one on paper, a long trip to Bulgaria with Monreal, Cazorla, Bellerin, and Walcott all out could well provide a potential banana skin for Arsenal.
So let’s have a look at the potential starting XI for Arsenal.
Entrenched as Arsenal’s Champions League ‘keeper, David Ospina has repaid the faith placed in him by Arsene Wenger so far in Europe. Expect him to make another start this week.
Hector Bellerin was left out of Arsenal’s squad which travelled to Bulgaria after picking up an injury in training. Jenkinson could make the start following his return to action against Reading, unless Wenger decides to shift Mustafi across and bring Rob Holding into the middle of defence.
Having formed a solid partnership, it is unlikely that Wenger will break that. The German international has been the best of the summer signings so far. Even though Arsenal’s defence was reasonably porous at the weekend, Mustafi has offered physicality and speed to a role that has been in need of addressing for some time.
Laurent Koscielny has been Arsenal’s best player so far this season. Without him at the back, the Gunners would not be where they are at the moment, he is essential to the squad and thus should be expected to play every game when fit.
With Monreal out due to injury, Kieran Gibbs should start again following his superb performance against Sunderland. Gibbs could even keep the first-team starting job if he keeps this form up.
Santi Cazorla will miss this game due to injury thus it is imperative that Arsenal someone in midfield who can start the play from the back. Having been suspended for three games, Xhaka should be relatively sharp and ready to make his come back.
Although Elneny could slot in, it’d be wise for Wenger t keep him in. The Frenchman provides a defensive awareness in midfield and is very adept at breaking up play. With Xhaka alongside him, Arsenal need Coquelin’s rugged tackling in midfield.
After being left out for Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain has returned to the fold and looks like he’s n his way bac to form. At the weekend he provided plenty of pace and power, and morei mportantly the end product. His cross for Sanchez was superb, let’s hope he can do the same tonight.
He’s not quite at his best but he is still essential to Arsenal’s build up play. He scored a hat trick in the reverse fixture of this tie, let’s hope he can do so mething similar.
Now a definite starter in Arsene Wenger’s starting XI, Alex Iwobi does not seem to be taking a backward step. He has shown signs of fatigue recently but with Walcott out and no one else ready to come in, Iwobi should keep his spot.
Two goals at the weekend to go with an electrifying performance. Sanchez seems to be getting better and better as a striker. His workrate off the ball is smothering for the opposition, while his pace gives Arsenal a constant threat through the middle. Giroud could start up front but i’d be inclinded to go with the old addage, ‘if aint broke, don’t fix it’.
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