Arsenal head into tomorrow’s game with AFC Bournemouth hoping to shake off the hostile feeling generated amongst fans towards the team for failing to defeat French champions Paris Saint-Germain at the Emirates on Wednesday.
Goals from Olivier Giroud and an own goal from Marco Verratti was not enough to prevent the Parisiens topping the group going into their final game against Ludogorets, where anything but a win for Unai Emery’s side looks unlikely.
However, there was a few serious positives to take from the midweek disappointment.
Firstly, the draw saw Arsenal extend a remarkable unbeaten run.
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) 26 November 2016
The football OCD that lives within us requires us to update the above graphic – Leipzig’s 4-1 win over Freiburg last night sees them edge closer to Arsenal’s unbeaten record of eighteen games, but it is something for Gunners to be proud of.
In addition, Olivier Giroud retained his nerves of steel in front of the penalty spot, and after rescuing a point for Arsenal against Manchester United in the previous league game, surely Wenger has had a serious thought about giving the Frenchman an opportunity from kick off.
The game will come too soon for Hector Bellerin, but he told 101 Great Goals that his comeback is approaching sooner than expected.
“It’s going better than expected because it’s a pretty hard injury but, at the moment, it’s recovering really well.
“I hope to be running by the end of this week or the beginning of next week and then we’ll just take it from there.”
Carl Jenkinson is thus expected to retain his place at right-back, with Petr Cech returning in goals after David Ospina made his usual European appearance.
Elsewhere, we feel that Granit Xhaka could be rewarded for his patience by slotting in alongside Aaron Ramsey in front of the defence.
Alex Iwobi may well be punished for such a costly mistake against Paris, so we feel that Alexis Sanchez will be deployed on the left-wing with Giroud being handed a deserved opportunity up front.