The Champions league is back and Arsenal face Bulgarian team Ludogorets Razgrad. It will be the first time these two have ever met. Ludogorets were only founded 15 years ago in 2001 but have been in Europe that last 4 years so this isn’t new to them and I’m sure they won’t be fazed by the fact they are facing the Gunners after only just losing 2-1 at home to Real Madrid in last year’s competition. But, for Arsenal this game looks like it should be a pretty routine win, especially with the form we are in. It’s been a solid start to the group for the Gunners and on paper this looks like it should be our easiest group game of the lot. With the depth in our squad this season I could see Wenger making a few changes to the squad for this game. Indeed I hope he does.
This game looks like it will come too early for both Giroud and Ramsey who are still nursing injuries. Wenger confirmed saying
“They continue their preparation as they have been out for a long time. I think they need sharpening up now but they are not far away.”
Apart from that I expect it will be a similar team selection to the Swansea game. Coquelin has returned and I could see him starting this one. I wouldn’t be surprised if Xhaka gets dropped after getting sent off on Saturday. He was also quite sloppy in the build-up to Swansea’s first goal andI could see Wenger punishing him for that, and I think that Coquelin is better at commanding the defensive areas which may make him the favourite.
David Ospina is most certainly going to start in goal tomorrow as he has started the past two Champions League games. To be honest, he has played well in both matches, especially against PSG. He isn’t going to get many minutes out on the pitch this season so when he does play he really does need to show his worth. I think that the defence will remain the same as it was for the Swansea game. I do think however that Wenger may change around the midfield. As I have suggested, As I stated above I can see Coquelin replacing Xhaka, Indeed, if Coquelin hadn’t picked up that unfortunate injury he would probably still be in the regular starting 11.
I think that Wenger will keep Ozil, Cazorla and Walcott in the midfield. Walcott has nailed down a starting 11 place in recent weeks with his impressive performances. I suspect that the Ox may just get the nod ahead of Iwobi for this game. He looked very good in pre-season and hasn’t really had a chance to show what he can do until now, although you can’t really argue with the way Iwobi has been playing.
He looks like a real prospect for the future and if he is to carry on this way the Ox will find it hard to break into the first team. I think Wenger will stick with Sanchez to lead the line but I would really like to see Perez play. Wenger has only started him twice this season and he led the line very well and scored twice against Nottingham Porest so I think he has got to be given a chance. We’ve paid about £17 million for a striker and we are still playing a winger up front so I don’t see why Perez doesn’t play.
Overall, then, my predicted line up would be: Ospina, Bellerin, Kos, Mustafi, Monreal, Coq, Cazorla, Ox, Ozil, Walcott, Sanchez.
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Arsenal are obviously expected not just to win but to dominate and win comfortably. We have been playing some great football lately so on paper it should be a comfortable victory. However Ludogorets will turn up with a game plan to stop us playing our natural game so we cannot afford to take our foot off the pedal. Hopefully, we will continue to carry on our great form.
Come on you Gunners!!