Expect significant changes to the Gunners starting XI when they face FC Basel in the final match of the Champions League group stages. Only Granit Xhaka and Gabriel are expected to keep their places in the side, but a returning Aaron Ramsey is likely to be given plenty of playing time.
The Gunners are confident that PSG are unlikely to slip-up against Ludogorets Razgrad at home, and as a consequence, Wenger is likely to shuffle his pack.
With such as changed side – more akin to the team that reached the quarter-finals of the League Cup last week – it’s not a given that the Gunners will continue their strong run of form in Champions League so far this season.
FORM GUIDE – OVERALL
Basel have really struggled in the tournament this season, and so far have yet to record a win, with just two points from the first five matches.
Basel have conceded 34 goals in their last 20 Champions League games, a rate of 1.7 goals a game. Their scoring hasn’t been much better either, with only 15 goals scored across that sequence of games.
In contrast, Arsenal have grabbed 11 points from a possible 15 in their group games to date.
FORM GUIDE – HOME VS AWAY
Basel’s home record in the Champions League is marginally better, with a notable 1-0 win against Liverpool two seasons ago, and a better-looking goal difference over the past 20 games. The struggle this season is reflected in one loss and one draw at home though, and Basel will be keen to end their campaign on a high with a win against the Gunners.
Basel do remain the dominant force in the Swiss Super League, twelve points clear of their nearest rival after 17 games but it remains to be seen if they have enough quality to beat Arsenal. The Gunner’s away from in the Champions League is not ideal, with heavy losses against Barcelona and Bayern Munich over last season, two major reasons as to why the Gunners have a negative goal difference over the past 20 away games.
Arsenal’s overall form is substantially better than Basel’s this season, which is reflected in the 10-game ultimate form guide.
Basel are no pushovers, however, a fact reflected in their decent defensive record over that period, conceding only three goals at home in the competition this season.
Arsenal will need to put considerable effort into breaking down what will likely be a highly organised defensive unit that has nothing to lose, other than pride and the possibility of a famous scalp, to play for.
Predictions show Arsenal to be the most likely winners, with a very strong change of both teams scoring, with nearly a 60% chance that there will be over two goals scored. If Wenger does decide to change his team, Basel could well pick up a surprise victory.
Preview and betting tips provided by KickOff
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