Finally, the UEFA Champions League is here and Arsenal are ready to take on French giants and the good news is that the doubts have been cleared with star trio Mertesacker, Giroud and Ozil passing their late fitness test Mertesacker missed the weekend’s win owing to illness while Giroud and Ozil picked up knocks in the game. While Mertesacker have a ready made replacement in Vermaelen and Sagna, the same can’t be said of Giroud and Ozil. Podolski that could step in for him is also injured while calling on Walcott would mean been almost without a natural winger with Chamberlain, Rosicky and Cazorla all out. Had Ozil also missed out, it would also have been a problem owing to the absence of Cazorla and Rosicky.
Wilshere alone can’t be saddled with the creative job. Thanks goodness they all made it. Besides the star trio, Wenger also included some neophytes Hayden and Chuba Akpom. Wondering what they would be doing, guess it’s just in a bid to have a full bench. 18 players and 11 on the field means 7 on the bench. I don’t expect to see Hayden but Akpom might just come in should Arsenal get a decent lead into the twilight of the game. With Sanogo injured and Bendtner unfit, Giroud is the only available striker and must be treated with caution. With Arsenal playing 6 games in the next 2 weeks, 5 of which are crucial.
Allowing Akpom some minutes tomorrow will be beneficial. He might be a youngster but on his young shoulders lie a decent head. He might not be a big name but he has a nose for goal in the box, the fox in the box we have craved for long and could do a decent job.