Lucas out, Xhaka in, as Wenger provides team news ahead of Bayern

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Arsene Wenger has provided the latest team news ahead of Wednesday night’s clash with Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Following Saturday’s 2-0 win over Hull, Arsenal are without Lucas Perez who misses the game with a slight hamstring issue.

Beyond that there don’t appear to be any other injury problems. The Gunners welcome back Granit Xhaka to the squad who has been suspended for domestic fixtures following his red card against Burnley in January.

Wenger will have decide whether or not to start him, and with whom he might pair the Swiss international. There are suggestions of a midfield three with Mesut Ozil pushed to the left hand side, but time will tell.

Per Mertesacker has travelled with the squad but is unlikely to start after such a lengthy period out of action. He’s in contention to play in the FA Cup against Sutton next week.

David Ospina, as he has done all season in Europe, will start in goal.

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65 Comments on "Lucas out, Xhaka in, as Wenger provides team news ahead of Bayern"

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santori

That’s bad news with Lucas out. I was rather wishing to see him start. He brings experience and composure and has been creative in the final third.

Was hoping to see all 3 of Coquelin, Granit and Ox start.

Maybe Ox on right wing now to help Bellerin with Douglas Costa.

Coquelin and Granit in the middle with Coquelin pressing higher.

Alexis up top on the break and I suppose Welbeck LW but he will have to put in a shift as well helping Monreal who will have to deal with the pacy Alaba not to mention whoever starts on LW.

Importantly we will have to cut out their crosses by closing down space effectively before they can launch them in. Mustafi and Koscielny have been good dealing with crosses for most part but I worry with Ospina in goal. he is a better shot stopper than Cech but his command of the box is weaker.

Walcott, Iwobi and Elneny as options for later.

Paul

Looks like Arsene has made an effort to not look tired Wrighty!

Magneto

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Arsene chooses to select Gibbs ahead of Monreal for this game.

Paul

I like Gibbs.

Crash Fistfight

Really? Haven’t seen you mention it before.

Bin

No one picked up on how he got away with it a couple of times vs Hull.. should have been sent off for a ridiculously rash challenge, and also I remember a simple long ball flying over his head right into the path of a Hull player who had an opportunity to score but wasted it. That’s vs Hull City FC so it doesn’t exactly leave me with faith vs Bayern Munich.

Karl

We need a bit more of Gibbs style resilience if we are to be taken seriously. Coquelin could learn a thing or two from him in stopping Hazard last week.

Ashir

Bro,please no coq. He can’t even pass πŸ™

Diarra

Doesn’t Alaba play LB? Or have they changed their system? Anyways agree our wingers and midfielders will all have to put in a shift if we want to keep them from scoring.

Andy Mack

Douglas plays LW and Alaba LB.

Viva la Prof

Seems to be pretty lethal on either side

greg

I think we are all assuming xhaka is a must start. I’ll be a little surprised if he does. Stupidly let everyone down with his red that in turn had huge consequences on selection for some big games

Does he deserve to come straight back in? No

Paul

The thing with being suspended is that the suspension is your punishment. I don’t think Arsene should add to the games ban. That would be just odd! πŸ™‚

Anonymarse

It would be nice if wr could get through the whole tie without getting a man sent off for a change

greg

Aw would be correct in feeling he can’t trust him to keep his shit together.

It’ll be elneny and coq in cm with ox

Arsenal

Good comment

The Little Mozart

These injuries are really getting in the way of Lucas making the impact he seems so capable of. We have a lot of other attacking options available though. COYG!

Thierry Bergkamp

First time ever that I’m not excited about a CL game. I have absolutely no expectations for this tie, just the usual hope.

ETTAN

So you were excited with Ludogoretz at home but not excited about Bayern away in the knock-out? Weird times for the Arsenal fans πŸ™‚

KAUCHA Krishna

Dear Thierry,if you loose ur hope,you won’t neither Thierry nor BergkampπŸ˜‚
Even we are whole Gunners.

igbo Amadi-Obi

I suppose it is up to the individual what gives him hope, and expectations. We cannot compel that.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Walcott will start and score two. Back to London with a 3-2 victory.

David C

Lineup:

Would a 4-3-3 look like this?
Ospina
Bellerin Must Kos Monreal
Ox Xhaka Elneny
Welbeck Sanchez Ozil

I guess the ole 4-2-3-1 is:
Ospina
Bellerin Must Kos Monreal
Xhaka Elneny
Walcott Ozil Welbeck
Sanchez

then that only leaves Giroud and Ox as attackers on the bench…hmmm, tough job Mr. Wenger

David C

I forgot Iwobi!!!

Jack

Play either of those teams and we will get spanked 4 or 5.The only time Arsenal have done well in CL was in 2006 when we played 4-5-1.

Paul

Have you made Arsene aware of this Jack??

Arsensarmy

Absolutely right, especially if we play wengers favorite 4-2-3-1. Arsenal will be in for a long night. Isn’t one sign of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I’m not optimistic but I can still hope.

Paul

Is it? Never heard that one…:)

Paul

* forgot my nose –

Chamakh

If we play a 2-man midfield it has to be Elneny-Xhaka.

Would start our 3 DM’s Elneny-Coq-Xhaka and crowd the midfield. Ozil can start in the wing and Ox to come in as an impact sub with Giroud

Trez

The first team is perfect. I wanted to see a front 3 of Lucas – Alexis – Welbeck with Ozil as a 10 and a Xhaka – Coq pivot, but unfortunately Lucas is injured so I’d go with yours. But we all know Wenger…he’s going to play his typical 4-2-3-1 and we’ll get spanked.

Diarra

We are doomed if we play Coq-Xhaka with Ozil ahead of them. They would press us to lose the ball everytime we build from the back, exactly like City, Everton and Bournemouth did.

Anonymarse

3 forwards 3 midfielders, seems straightforward enough

Indian Gooner

Drop Ozil.. Let him pick himself up!
Play 4-4-2 with Giroud/Welbeck and Alexis up top. Alexis can be a creator as well with as many assists he has picked up this season.
Time to change something tactically. You know.. it worked quite well with some shit team there in London after they changed their formation to the one their manager has been most successful with. πŸ˜‰

Indian Gooner

Mr.Blogs.. Let me ask you a very honest question.. Why is that I am always under moderation?
Been a big follower. Just seems a bit too harsh. πŸ™‚

Hoosier Gunner

Suggesting Mesut be dropped is a straight red offense. No wonder.

Godfrey Twatschloch

I would guess there are certain words combined with certain players that auto trigger the moderation thing.

Arsensarmy

Tactically Wenger has to change something. 4-2-3-1 will get exploited to the tune of 3 or 4 goals. God forbid you criticize Wenger or any of his decisions. And the worst insult of all is pointing out some other clubs best attributes be it about players or managers. Unbelievable I wonder how many would follow Wenger over a steep cliff.

gordy

I think he’ll play Iwobi as he normally does, unfortunately. Even though I don’t think he should be in the first 11, it was Giroud who they couldn’t cope with last year.

Jack

Bayern will play the world’s best keeper in goal Wenger will play Almunia’s twin brother.

bazza_wicks

lucas previous injury record was good before he joined AFC i know a few have been from kicks but overall his other injuries are in the Arsenal mould of weeks out surely there is still an under lying method in training that causes these non impact injuries, sanchez hamstrings,ramsey hamstrings,ox hamstrings, walcott hamstrings, kos hamstrings list goes on

VintageFuzz

Lucas’ injuries stem from the fact that he got that bad kick on the ankle earlier in the season. That in itself isn’t that bad but what it does is disrupt the fitness plan that has been tailor made for him and he has to start from scratch. I think on a whole this team has had less injuries this season than years before. Especially the muscular injuries. Only Ramsey has been struggling. I don’t count Cazorla, Per and other players that get joint injuries and tendon injuries because those stem from contact not overall fitness. I can roll my ankle or break my leg *knocks on wood but that doesn’t mean I’m not fit or that my doctors aren’t good. I think the medical and fitness teams have done a good job so far. Watching the team their fitness levels look really good which can also be seen with how many late goals they’ve scored.

Vonnie

Lucas was taken out by that ugly hulk in the Reading match and has been kicked a few times since. Players compensate for knocks which causes muscle injuries, hopefully it’s more precautionary than serious but it’s a shame for him.

Andy Mack

It’s a fair bit easier to be injury free in the Spanish league where half the games are a walkover.

Trez

Wenger will be as predictable as ever with our usual 4-2-3-1 formation and that is going to get us spanked. Ideally, I’d have liked a front 3 of Lucas – Alexis – Welbeck but unfortunately, Lucas is injured. We could play a 4-3-3 with a midfield 3 of Xhaka – Elneny/Coq – Ox with Elneny/Coq covering for Ozil defensively. A front three of Mesut – Alexis – Welbeck would be good with lots of fluidity. However, we have Theo who regardless of what you think, is the second best finisher in the team. But we just need to make sure we’re not more than a goal down. 2-1, 1-1 should be good enough. We can get something out of this game, but I doubt Wenger is capable of thinking outside the box

Tino

Pretty much realistic expectation

Stringer Bell

Unlike yourself who really is a font of wisdom. If only Wenger could think like you.

VintageFuzz

You tell him String!

Paul

“2-1, 1-1 should be good enough”
Unless we face Watford in the second leg! πŸ™‚

Shank

So cool in that track suit with the yellow stripe…..
Arsene , you can do no wrong.

UpNorth

Have no hope for tomorrow if we play 4-2-3-1 again. They’ll run over us as PSG did to Barca today.
Very impressed of PSG today, in my view it’s more than 75% chance that Alexis plays in Paris next season, the team fits him perfectly and Arsenal under Wenger don’t.

An Ox-Sized Coq

I don’t seem to understand the whole concept of Xhaka coming straight back in. First off, Ox in the middle has been our most consistent player the last few matches. As ridiculous as it may sound Coquelin is probably more disciplined defensively than Xhaka.

Trez

Because we simply do not have anyone ad good as he is at dictating play from deep…Ox has been impressive, but his passing range is no where close to Xhaka

ArsenalManitou

Ospina
Bellerin Mustafi Koscielny Monreal
Xhaka Ox
Iwobi
Walcott Sanchez Wellbeck.

clins

why do we never try this. in iwobi we have the perfect no10 to replace the out off form ozil. fingers have to be pointed at wenger for not even trying new player in ozil’s position. some time on bench will only benefit both arsenal and ozil as maybe we will find solution to play without ozil and in the case of ozil he will come back stronger. its not like we need to buy new player , the least he could do is to try a young player in that position.

kaius

It’s hard to accept that the only attacking player we’ve signed in the last two seasons won’t be available for our most important game of this season. Nearly everything he touched in the group stage games turned to gold. Really thought the Champions League was the gonna be the stage for him to shine.

PSG signed Draxler in January and there he was tonight doing the business in what was possibly PSG’s biggest ever performance. No doubt if we’d signed him he’d have picked up a 90th minute injury against Hull.

Can the injury gods please give us a break?

Arsensarmy

Other teams are proactive they make things happen. We seem to be reactive at best. Draxler was smart not to make a stop off here. Would spell disaster for his career.

Dom47

Arsene would not use Lucas anyway, he would probably give him his usual 5-10 mins. Which us a shame, he should start ahead of Iwobi, who for all his talent is still a young guy who is developing while we have a pkayer at his peak in Lucas who has been very good for us when he played.

Andy Mack

We,ve a bigger squad than most other teams now.

Aman Ali

If we play the usual 4-2-3-1 that would be asking for trouble. Bayern would have prepared for that. I would play Alexis -Giraud – Welbeck. And play a 4-3-3 with a midfield 3 of Xhaka – Coq – Ozil. However, we just need to make sure we dont go more than a goal down. Keep the game tight and attack on the break. If that happens and we get something out of this game, the return leg is all to play for.

Peter

Monreal out please, this guy lacks confidence and slow, and he doesn’t tackle. Gibbs in.

Jim

When was the last time monreal or coq really impose a threat?

Muhammad

This is madness to start with gisbbs!!!

Conleth Burke

Stop showing these teams so much respect, yes play tight and defensive away(ox, coq, elm, xhaka, ozil with zanchez up front) get a 0-0 1-1 or a2-1 loss.. Bring them back to London, go all out attack. (wallcot, ozil, xhaka, ox with giroud and sanchez up front) don’t end the tie tonight give us something to play for in two weeks

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