Now that the trip to Old Trafford is out of the way, we now face a Champions League tie at home against Paris-Saint Germain.
We are currently on level at points with the French giants, and this game could very well decide who gets the much-coveted tags of group-winners.
We haven’t really got the rub of the green in the knockout stages of the competition in recent years, and hence it’s very important for us to give ourselves every chance of drawing a comparatively easy opponent in the last-16.
Winning the group also means that we will play the second round of our last-16 tie at our home.
Manager Arsene Wenger has prioritised winning the group this season, and we are currently unbeaten in the group stage. Our qualification to the next round is already confirmed, but the job is not yet done. If we could get the three points against PSG, then the trip to Basel on Dec 6 won’t hold that much of significance, and we would be able to afford to rest some of our key players during the busy fixture list.
Hence, the game on Wednesday night will be really important for us, and I can see Wenger making some important changes in the starting eleven though he is expected to stick with the 4-2-3-1 or 4-5-1 formation.
- Petr Cech: Out, David Ospina: In
The Colombian international will replace the Czech in our goalposts. Ospina has been our first-choice keeper in Champions League and has been impressive whenever he has been called upon in the competition.
- Laurent Koscielny: Out, Gabriel: In
The French centre-back has been ever-present in our starting eleven, and I think he deserves a rest.
Gabriel is a good centre-back, and even though he is not currently at the level of Koscielny, I expect him to do the job against PSG.
- Nacho Monreal: Out, Kieran Gibbs: In
Gibbs played in our last two Champions League fixtures, and I could see him making his way into the starting eleven on Wednesday. He was impressive in the home game against Ludogorets and the league win over Sunderland, but not so much during the away fixture against the Bulgarian side.
I think he deserves another chance in our starting eleven, and Wednesday could be a decent chance to provide him with the same.
- Mohamed Elneny: Out, Granit Xhaka: In
The central midfield partnership of Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny doesn’t offer much in terms of going forward, and it was very evident in the 1-1 draw with Man Utd.
However, we will play against PSG at home, and the impetus would be on us to play attacking football.
Hence, I think Wenger will play Granit Xhaka ahead of Elneny in the game.
- Alexis Sanchez: Out, Olivier Giroud: In
The Frenchman has scored four goals in last four appearances, and he deserves a chance in the starting eleven.
Wenger will also be keen to give Sanchez a breather. So, I expect Giroud to lead our attack against the French champions.