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What is Best for Arsenal Against Dinamo Zagreb? Will the Fans be Happy if Wenger Does This?

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger

The game against Dinamo Zagreb could well be the last time that Arsenal fans get to listen to the UEFA Champions League anthem this season at home. Arsenal are set to play their fifth game of the competition and sit six points behind second-placed Olympiakos, who are set to face Bayern Munich in the other game from the group.

Qualifying for the next stage of the competition is tough for Arsenal given the current scenario but it isn’t impossible, as long as the Gunners do their job of beating Zagreb and Olympiakos lose to Bayern Munich, the chances of qualification come back into the hands of the team from London.

Every Arsenal fan would crave the Champions League trophy, but truth to be told, the chances of Arsenal winning the UEFA Champions League this season are as high as Leicester winning the Premier League, well even Leicester have a greater chance of winning the league. The Gunners have had a history of failing in the knockout rounds and maybe this time around Arsene Wenger can take his foot off the pedal in this game and maybe think about the league.

Europe League ahoy?

Arsenal should have the firepower to defeat Zagreb but the fact that many players are currently on the treatment table does not bode well for the team from London who did lose earlier to the same opponents and had Olivier Giroud sent off. Giroud did score in the weekend’s game against West Bromwich Albion, but the injuries to midfield pair Francis Coquelin and Mikel Arteta will be the issue rattling Wenger’s mind.

Arsenal do not have a readymade replacement for the work and ability that Coquelin provides to the squad, though they do have the French midfielder Mathieu Flamini to play the role, but his best days in an Arsenal shirt have long gone by.

With injuries racking up and the fact that they have a slim chance of making it out of the group, Arsene shouldn’t think about this game as much as next week’s opponents in the English Premier League. The last thing that he would want is a few more injuries to his playing XI, which could happen given the run of games they have had and the thin squad which has partaken in these fixtures.

They play Norwich at Carrow Road, not the easiest of places to go to. The Canaries have done pretty well in the league and only lost by the solitary goal against Chelsea in the weekend. After the performance against West Bromwich Albion, Arsene Wenger should be wary of how his team performs against what you would call weaker opposition, on paper at least.

The Gunners should have the services of Welsh international Aaron Ramsey to recall, but they probably shouldn’t risk the fitness of the midfielder and play a bunch of kids against Zagreb. This Premier League race is about as open as we have seen in years with almost four to five teams in the running and if Arsenal can get their players back to fitness, they surely can make a run for it. As a few pundits said earlier, Arsenal’s team is not geared to take part in European competition but they could slip through to the lower rungs of the Europa League by coming third in the league.


Arsenal fans wouldn’t be ecstatic playing in the Europa League, but that could well be the one chance that Arsenal could have of European silverware but given a chance, anyone would want a chance at the Premier League crown. It is a tough decision for Arsene Wenger to make, either way he will get criticised but if he can somehow miraculously win the league by skipping on this Champions League game, all will be forgiven.