Arsenal’s Likely Lineup to Face Olympiakos

Arsenal will look to kick start their Champions League campaign on Tuesday when they play Olympiacos at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal lost their first match in the group stages against Dinamo Zagreb a fortnight ago. Arsenal needs to win Tuesday if they plan to advance through the group stages for a 19th consecutive time under Arsene Wenger. The Gunners have had mixed results in the Premier League since that defeat, losing 2-0 to Chelsea before beating Leicester City in high-scoring match at the King Power Stadium last weekend. At the Emirates, Arsenal should hold stronger cards but will Wenger start his strongest XI keeping in mind that they have to play league leaders Manchester United next Sunday.

Goalkeeper: Petr Cech

Petr Cech
Petr Cech

Ospina has been struggling this season whenever he has gotten a chance and I think this is too big a match for Arsenal to rest their number one keeper. Cech started the season poorly but has since then improved a lot. His commanding presence in the box helps to keep everyone else calm.

Defense: Hector Bellerin, Gabriel, Laurent Koscielny and Gibbs

Hector Bellerin was excellent against Leicester City. He was dangerous going forward and solid while defending. There has been some critique of his game that he doesn’t close down opponents quickly which gives them the advantage to cross but still his overall game is at a different level right now to Debuchy. Gabriel returns to the squad after serving a one game suspension for failing to leave the field when he was sent off against Chelsea. Wenger will likely go with Gabriel over Martesacker on Tuesday, simply because the big German will have played three matches in six days after returning to the squad after a months absence. The other centre back will be Koscielny, who has been really superb till now. Left back position is a tough one to decide since both Gibbs and Monreal have had really good games last week. Wenger might be tempted to start to with Gibbs on Tuesday, since Arsenal have a tough game against United this weekend.

Midfield: Coquelin, Cazorla, Ozil, Ramsey and Sanchez

Francis Coquelin
Francis Coquelin

​With Mathieu Flamini picking up a knock at the weekend and Francis Coquelin on the way back, the latter should come in to midfield alongside Santi Cazorla. Hat-trick hero Sanchez will start on the left wing, his confidence would have surely got a boast after opening his account for the season against Leicester on Saturday. Ozil will start in the number 10 spot behind the striker, one feels that the German needs a goal soon. Ramsey will start on the right where he hasn’t been that effective to be true but then we might also see Wenger starting with the Ox who has been brilliant in patches this season.

Attack: Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott has to repay the faith that Arsene Wenger has in him
Theo Walcott

With Giroud suspended for this match, there is only one striker available for Wenger to choose from. To be fair to Walcott he has showed glimpses of what he can do if given a longer opportunity as striker. He has scored 3 goals in his last 4 matches and if he can give a good performance against Olympiacos than he will definitely be equal to Giroud, if not above him in the pecking order.

Written by Anurag Singh

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