Arsenal face Ludogorets Razgard at the Emirates on Wednesday. A win in their third group stage would put Arsenal in pole position to qualify along with PSG.
The Gunners are coming off a 3-2 win against Swansea City this weekend. Although they looked the stronger team for much of the match, Arsenal made hard work of it, and scraped out the last 20 minutes after Granit Xhaka was controversially sent off.
In light of the Swiss international’s red card, it’s likely Wenger will opt to start Francis Coquelin, who recently returned from injury. With no new injury news – Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud are still unavailable – the manager won’t change up his squad.
Here is Arsenal’s most probable starting lineup versus Ludogorets on Wednesday.
Goalkeeper – Ospina
David Ospina starts in goal having done so for the previous two Champions League matches. The Columbian has played well and deserves the opportunity.
Right Back – Bellerin
Hector Bellerin starts. With Carl Jenkinson not ready for first team action, Bellerin won’t be given many opportunities to rest for the time being.
Center Backs – Koscielny & Mustafi
As long as Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi continue to impress, the other center backs at the club will see little game time. Expect another dominant performance from these two.
Left Back – Gibbs
With few opportunities to rotate his squad, Wenger will use this match to give Kieran Gibbs some time. The England international has played well in cameos off the bench, but with Nacho Monreal entrenched as the starter, Gibbs’ opportunities are few and far between.
Defensive Mid – Coquelin
Coquelin comes in for Xhaka. The Frenchman just returned from injury and is Wenger’s preferred choice anyways, so regardless of Xhaka’s red card over the weekend, this switch was always likely to happen. With Xhaka set to miss Arsenal’s next three matches, Coquelin will need the game time to get back to match fitness.
Central Mid – Cazorla
Santi Cazorla struggled to make an impact against Swansea over the weekend and will look to rebound against Ludogorets on Wednesday.
Attacking Mid – Özil
Mesut Özil scored Arsenal’s third with a sublime volley on his 28th birthday. Although he has yet to register an assist this season, he’s still creating chances, and is scoring at a higher rate than years past. Wenger touted Özil’s scoring potential this week and encouraged his star man to build on his current form.
Wide Right – Walcott
Although Theo Walcott put in a man of the match performance with his two goals this weekend, he could have easily had a hat trick, if not four goals. Walcott is in excellent form and can’t be dropped at this point.
Wide Left – Iwobi
Alex Iwobi should start but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain be given an opportunity after his impressive 20-minute cameo over the weekend.
Oxlade-Chamberlain made comments about his lack of first team opportunities and admitted he may have to consider his future at the end of the season. Rotation is healthy, and although Iwobi is playing well, Oxlade-Chamberlain is a good player with a bright future ahead of him. He needs game time, as well.
Striker – Alexis
Alexis looked tired against Swansea but still put in a good performance. His excellent cross teed up Özil’s volley. With Giroud unavailable and Lucas Perez on the periphery, Alexis gets the start, tired or not.
Via – Lineup Builder