Unlike previous seasons, Arsenal find themselves in the position of having already qualified from their Champions League group.
In addition, tonight’s fixture against Paris Saint-Germain not only provides the Gunners with the opportunity to qualify with a game to spare, but do so as a group winner, handing Arsene Wenger’s side the chance to secure an easier draw in the last 16, and with it the possibility of progression into the tournament’s later stages.
As if that wasn’t enough motivation, PSG could be without some of their leading players after manager Unai Emery revealed fitness concerns over Argentinian duo, Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore. A late all will also be made over Adrien Rabiot, after he missed last weekend’s 2-0 over Nantes, creating selections issues for Emery.
Meanwhile, Right back Serge Aurier has also been left out of PSG’s squad altogether, after he was banned from entering the United Kingdom.
Although it would seem that Arsenal hold an advantage over the French champions, Wenger too has to make some tough decisions ahead of the highly anticipated clash.
Does he continue with Alexis Sanchez after he appeared to struggled against Manchester United? The inform Chilean seemed subdued in Old Trafford and was replaced by Olivier Giroud.
Granit Xhaka could also play alongside Francis Coquelin in midfield, as a means of limiting the influence of the impressive Marco Verratti.
Without Héctor Bellerín, questions continue to be asked over the ability of either Carl Jenkinson and Mathieu Debuchy, with the later now perennially linked with moves away from the Emirates, while the former found himself under pressure against United.
Potential Arsenal XI to face PSG: (4-2-3-1)
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena