Arsenal predicted starting XI v Fenerbahce

Champions League Pitch

Arsenal face Fenerbahce in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Arsenal travel to Turkey this week for a crucial first leg of their Champions League qualifier, where they face a dangerous Fenerbahce side.

In their search for important away goals, they have the core of their attack available, but the problems are at the back where their options have been depleted.

Despite this we expect good news on the injury front concerning Kieran Gibbs, who had picked up a head injury in the loss to Aston Villa.

Here is how we expect Arsene Wenger to pick his side...


Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs

   Rosicky Wilshere Ramsey

     Walcott               Cazorla


Subs: Fabianski, Podolski, Gnabry, Jenkinson, Frimpong, Zelalem, Sanogo.

Analysis: Arsenal have a selection problem , but not a good one. In many ways the side picks itself, and that's an issue for Wenger because it limits his options tactically.

The good news is Santi Cazorla is rested and likely to start, but the question is whether he will play as part of a midfield three or out wide, in order to accommodate three fellow midfielders as per the run at the end of last season. 

Tomas Rosicky was excellent against Villa, and has thrown himself surely into the mix to start, while we expect him to be accompanied by the younger Wilshere and Ramsey to give the Gunners a more solid base in midfield in this tricky away fixture.

That would mean a substitute's role again for Lukas Podolski, a frustration for the German. However with him rested on Saturday, it could be that he has been saved for this game, meaning he slots in on the left and Cazorla into the middle three with either Rosicky or Ramsey missing out.

In defence the back five is fairly obvious because there are so few other options, with Gibbs expected to return it removes a major headache over the left-back role. However a look at our predicted bench indicates how light they are in reserve, with Carl Jenkinson the only out and out defender. In case of emergency, Aaron Ramsey last season demonstrated he could fill in at full-back, doing so in the derby against Spurs for a short period facing Gareth Bale.

The bench we expect to include some youngsters including Gnabry and Zelalem. An outside bet is defender Isaac Hayden who came off the bench in the recent friendly against Manchester City.

How do you expect Arsenal to line-up? 

image: © El Ronzo

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