Fresh after their first back-to-back victories in the Premier League this season, Arsenal will go into their Champions League clash with Anderlecht on Tuesday evening hoping to make it four wins in a row.
Arsene Wenger's men should be in confident mood for the match at Emirates Stadium, where they were in good form for the 3-0 win over Burnley on Saturday afternoon and one man in particular has caught tty eye.
Alexis Sanchez hit a brace and took his season tally to ten goals in only 16 matches with an all-action man of the match display. He is currently driving this Arsenal team forward and it is hard to see how Wenger could afford to rest him at the moment.
Anderlecht at home in the Champions League would normally be a fixture the Gunners would expect to prevail in, while also giving something of a breather to one or two of their leading stars. However, the last time the sides met would suggest this clash is anything but a forgone conclusion.
Two weeks ago in Brussels it required two goals in three minutes right at the end of the 90 for the north Londoners to leave with all three points. Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski were the saviours on a night that saw a very tame showing from Wenger's men.
- Alexis Sanchez told to 'chill out' by Arsenal team-mates
- Arsenal moving dangerously towards 'one-man team' status
- £150,000-a-week sensation chose Wenger over Rodgers
Saturday saw the return of Theo Walcott after ten months out
The Belgian giants were impressive with their possession play and on the counter-attack and it looked as though Andy Najar's header in the 71st minute would be enough. Arsenal did not respond well and the home side had two more golden chances to finish the game off, only to suffer the ultimate punishment at the death.
Wenger's starting XI is likely to be something similar to what was seen at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, such are the injury worries currently plaguing the Gunners. However, Saturday saw the return of Theo Walcott after ten months out and he is sure to play a part at some point, though probably not from the start.
There is no relief in terms of injuries in defence, with Laurent Koscielny still out until after the international break and Mathieu Debuchy not likely to return before the end of the year. This means the current back four is likely to continue.
Gibbs was a doubt leading into the Burnley match and an injury to him would require Hector Bellerin to come in, but the England international did not appear to aggravate the problem.
Santi Cazorla has struggled for form, but playmaking options are limited
Jack Wilshere missed the victory against the Premier League's bottom side and Wenger admitted before the match that he would likely miss this fixture too. Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsey has spent most of his time on the bench for the past two games due to illness and should start.
Lukas Podolski will be hoping for a recall and could have a chance at making the line-up, but Wenger seems settled with Sanchez playing behind centre-forward Danny Welbeck and having two more defensively aware players either side of him.
Santi Cazorla has struggled for form, but playmaking options are limited with both Wilshere and Mesut Özil both out and the Spaniard will likely get the opportunity to play his way back into form.
Here is the GMS predicted Arsenal starting XI for the Champions League clash with Anderlecht…
Szczesny; Monreal, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Chambers; Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanchez; Welbeck.
As you can see, there's only one predicted change from the side that beat Burnley. Wenger will likely take this game very seriously as a win could see them qualify for the last 16, as long as Borussia Dortmund defeat Galatasaray at home in the other fixture.
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What do you think of the predicted starting XI? Do you think Arsene Wenger will send out this team? Would you make any changes? Leave a comment below to let us know...
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