Arsenal FC have looked pretty solid to kick off the 2016/17 season, after overcoming a shaky start and a tough loss at home to Liverpool. Since then, they’ve looked capable of beating anybody and Wenger’s team are certainly on the rise. Could this be their year? Who knows, but next up is FC Basel in the Champions League, and a win is crucial.
European football seems to be somewhat of a merry-go-round for The Gunners. The North London club always qualify for the Champions League relatively easily, they tend to make it out of the group stage, and then struggle thereafter. This is something that they have a real chance at changing after just one game, thanks to an excellent point away from home in the French capital.
As previously mentioned, they managed to get out of the Paris Saint-Germain away game with a superb draw. This was easily their hardest game of the group and it bodes well for the rest of the competition. They also come into this match full of confidence after a sensational 3-0 drubbing of Chelsea at the weekend.
Basel already sit top of the Swiss league and they should well win that tournament once again. They always prove to be a tough test in the Champions League as well, but they come into this game in good form having won their four league fixtures so far, as well as drawing their Champions League game against Ludogorets.
Arsenal predicted line-up
Wenger likes to rotate here and there in the Champions League, just to keep his senior faces fresh and ready for the bread and butter of the Premier League. You’d have to imagine he will do similarly here. David Ospina started away against PSG so he’ll likely play. Lucas Perez and Olivier Giroud will both be pushing for starts, as will Kieren Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Suspensions and injuries
On a sour note for Arsenal, they’ll be without Francis Coquelin until after the international break due to an injury he picked up against Chelsea at the weekend. Aaron Ramsey is still injured, and both Danny Welbeck and Per Mertesacker are long-term casualties.
Despite heavy rotation, Arsenal should have more than enough to win this one at a canter. Three points will put them in a great position in the group at this early stage, and I think they’ll do it by a comfortable 3-1 scoreline.
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