Wenger reveals team news for CSKA Moscow clash

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Arsene Wenger has revealed details of the squad that has travelled to Moscow for Arsenal’s quarter-final second leg showdown with CSKA Moscow.

We already knew that Henrikh Mkhitaryan, injured in the first leg, had been ruled out. The Armenian is expected to be out for a few weeks with medial knee ligament damage.

Elsewhere, the boss revealed that Granit Xhaka has missed the trip due to flu. That opens the door for Mohamed Elneny who could well anchor things behind Aaron Ramsey, back in the squad, and Jack Wilshere.

Petr Cech is due to start in goal with David Ospina still nursing an ankle problem.

Interestingly, we’ve seen from pictures on social media that Per Mertesacker has travelled, could the BFG be on the bench? Possibly.

The Gunners take a 4-1 lead into the game, but will have noticed that it’s not one that’s insurmountable as Roma showed Barcelona on Tuesday night. The home side will be out to get an early goal and cause Arsenal some jitters, but their need to attack could well leave us plenty of room to counter-attack.

It’s nicely poised for us, so let’s hope we complete the job without too much fuss.

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Forest gooner
Forest gooner

Let’s go with 3 at the back

Reidar Strand Hagen
Reidar Strand Hagen

Our fullbacks aren’t really up to the task, throwing on more of them just mean we have more bad players on the pitch. What we need is for the whole team to defend with heart, and I honestly think we will see that in Moscow.

Rambozil
Rambozil

Team is strong enough and capable of a W taking us to the Semis. However, this is The Arsenal and we know anything is possible. Will be taking my blood pressure meds until the final whistle. COYG

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Just smash them, surely

PeteyB
PeteyB

The Barca result could be a good thing for this team actually, we’ve been guilty before of being too casual. The best teams can slip up if they’re not careful, so we should be taking no chances.

PeteyB
PeteyB

Elneny may also be a better option than Xhaka in the circumstance. I don’t want to say ‘blessing in disguise’, always better to have all fit to choose from, but Elneny’s calm could be perfect if they do come on strong. Xhaka has been better of late but certainly can be more careless in possession. Giving away dumb goal is the last thing we want to do. *cough*Mustafi*coughcough*

Zack
Zack

You only have to take a look at results this week in the champions league to know this tie is very far from over. We need to learn from Barca and Madrid not to take this game too lightly, especially as we’re playing away

santori
santori

We should be VERY careful not to drop the ball.

We just witnessed Barca squander a 4-1 advantage to Roma.

The injury to Mhkitaryan may affect fluency up top. Also the absence of Granit may affect balance in midfield.

OTOH there will be opportunities to pick apart CSKA considering their 3 at the back are a combine age of 107 and they will have to come at us thereby ceding space behind them.

Iwobi has been excellent last two games and may provide a balance between defensive work and more creative job left vacant by Mhkitaryan’s absence.

Welbeck may provide us with the breakaway speed on the counter, Lacazette has better ball control but isn’t entirely the quickest.

At the base of midfield, Elneny and Jack seem a solid enough pair to hold firm. The worry is that if we go too negative early and invite them in, if they garner a goal, their confidence will be up and we will again put ourselves under duress.

Jack has been a bit off the boil lately so playing Elneny at the base and Ramsey + Ozil just ahead (taking turns to cover) could be a good start with Welbeck and Iwobi wide, Lacazette up top.

Whoever we put out, we should approach this as 0-0 all to play for.

If we go in with the mentality we are defending the lead with plenty of ‘give’, we may be in for trouble.

berlingoon
berlingoon

Cech
‘ector Mustafi Koscienly Nacho
Iwobi Elneny Rambo
Özil Lacazette Welbeck

afan
afan

wilshere for ozil

Serpent
Serpent

The BFG instead of Mustafi?

Nordin
Nordin

Why not?

Nic
Nic

Yes, remembering how he stepped in for the FA cup final.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

We should easily get through, but it wouldn’t greatly surprise me if we saw yet another away-day horror show which led to an unexpected exit. After what happened in Nottingham and Bournemouth and other places recently nothing shocks me about Wenger’s sides. CSKA are rubbish, but that might not stop them from knocking us out. We might pay for not finishing them off in London as we should have.

It was a really interesting night in the Champions’ League yesterday, wasn’t it? Liverpool wobbled in the first half but eventually made it through comfortably against Pep’s boys; then Roma pulled off the mother of all comebacks to see off Barcelona.

So what does this tell us?

All Wenger’s bs about “financial doping” is just that: bs. A team which has been properly trained, organised and motivated can take on and beat the moneybags sides. The only difference between ourselves and Liverpool is that they’ve got a young, hungry, modern manager who knows how to make the most of his resources. That’s why they are in the CL semis and will comfortable finish in the top four, while we are scraping the barrel in the Thursday-night club and hoping to finish above Burnley in the PL.

Maybe the Yank might finally wake up and smell the coffee. But I doubt it.

Arsene's Micki
Arsene's Micki

Cech
Bellerin BFG Kos Nachoman
Mo 35 yarders!
Rambo, Jack
Öz, Laca, Welbz/Iwobi

I know BFG has 0 chance in front of Mustafi but still I think he’s the cooler (and more experienced) head when you have a lead to protect away in a hostile atmosphere on a -ve 2 degrees evening. Whatever team they put out COYG! Here’s to Rambo bossing it again and Mo owning the mid! ?

Birdinggooner
Birdinggooner

I was at the Arsenal Training Ground on Wednesday as part of the disabled supporters day (with nephew who has MS). It was noted that Xhaka was missing, and so were Welbeck and Ramsey, so maybe they have injuries that need to be assessed. An excellent thing to do for disabled supporters, by the way, so we’ll done to the club for the hospitality, and the players who came to mingle – Cech, Auba, and Jack.

santori
santori

…finally no more Welbeck or Nelson articles.

Like no one else is doing well.

Iwobi.

Hi-brid
Hi-brid

Why are Arsenal players not required to have a flu jab as a contractual obligation? Or does Wenger just mean that Xhaka has a bit of a cold?

arseblog
Admin

Probably. Wenger uses ‘flu’ all the time, and it’s probably just a minor cold/bug. Actual flu leaves you fucking wrecked for weeks.

Nachoman
Nachoman

Wimp

afan
afan

WEEKS, a day or two at best

arseblog
Admin

You’ve never had flu then.

A Different George
A Different George

C’est peut-etre une question d’avoir pense en francais?

pedro
pedro

Nobody claims a cold when filling out the sick note, always flu. Headaches are migraines, a hangover is gastro…

MateKiddleton
MateKiddleton

Not only Barca, but Real almost got knocked out vs Juve as well at home.

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

Great game that was. Juve v unlucky in the end, but it was a penalty.

'Murica
'Murica

Definitely a penalty for me too, but wished that game, and Buffon’s CL career hadn’t ended on a moment like that.