Three selection surprises Arsene Wenger could spring

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain

How will Arsene Wenger line his side up at the Emirates versus Bayern?

Arsene Wenger is a man under pressure at Arsenal, so it's fair to wonder whether he will play safe tonight with his team selection or do something crazy, like picking Gervinho.

The biggest 'dilemma' is at left-back, with Gibbs injured, Monreal cup-tied, and Santos on loan, but it's expected he'll play club captain Thomas Vermaelen there as he has done several times in the past. A reported injury to Laurent Koscielny adds to Wenger's woes this morning.

Up front there's likely a choice between Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud, and how that pans out will affect the rest of the line-up.

But if Wenger does want to mix it up a bit, as Sir Alex Ferguson did with Welbeck at the Bernabeu last week with successful results, here are three options available to him:

Sagna at left-back and Jenkinson on the right

Laurent Koscielny is a doubt for tonight's game and if he isn't showing signs of full fitness then Wenger will have to consider alternatives, and Bacary Sagna is more than capable of adapting to another position as he recently showed against Sunderland - but where, depends on which position Wenger wants to use Vermaelen. In any case it's likely to see Jenkinson come in, but he has shown this season he has a chance of being successful, even though this will be his biggest test yet.

Oxlade-Chamberlain to start

When Arsenal beat AC Milan 3-0 last season the star of the show was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Tonight Arsenal need a similarly mature performance from the young man, and he has showed he is not afraid on the big stage. If Theo Walcott is preferred up front to Olivier Giroud, then it may well be that Oxlade-Chamberlain is needed to start out wide. It would be a show of faith from Wenger in the winger, and a sure sign of attacking intent.

Abou Diaby instead of Arteta

After all the expectation upon Abou Diaby, brought about because of his stunning early season form, since returning to fitness in January the midfielder has actually been disappointing, especially so against Blackburn on Saturday. Nevertheless, his physical style can be uncompromising and exactly what Arsenal need to disrupt Bayern's attacks and muscle in against Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger. The key to Arsenal's showing is Jack Wilshere, and Wenger may decide Diaby offers him a better platform to get forward and attack than Arteta does.

Could any of the above happen? Would you like them to?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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