Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Wenger faces selection dilemma over Arshavin, Nasri and Walcott for Barca clash


Arsene Wenger has one major decision to make ahead of this evening's Champions League clash with Barcelona.

The Frenchman must decide which two out of Andrey Arshavin, Samir Nasri and Theo Walcott will start against the Spanish champions.

Nasri was passed fit to take part in the match yesterday after coming through two rigorous fitness tests.

Wenger has said there is no medical risk to playing Nasri tonight and having only spent 17 days out, the French attacker will be ready to start tonight's tie.

The dilemma Wenger has however is who does he drop if he decides to put Nasri in the starting line up.

Andrey Arshavin seems to be the player pundits and Gooners would leave out of thee side if Nasri were to start.

The Russian has had an mixed few months. He did not start a league game between the away defeat at DW Stadium on December 29 and the draw with Newcastle 11 days ago.

He has used this period to rediscover his form and there has been a noticeable improvement in his work for the team.

Walcott on the other hand has been a constant performer for the team since the start of the season. Apart from a period between September and middle October when he was out injured, he has been virtually ever present for the Gunners.

Everyone knows the 21-year-old brings pace to this side, but it is also his all round game which has improved this term.

The other thing Walcott has done this season is add goals to his statistics.

The Englishman has 11 compared with the Russian's eight, while Nasri has 14.



Whilst I believe Nasri will start I can understand there could be a predicament over who Wenger picks to play on the opposite flank.

I think the manager will want to take full advantage of Barca being forced to play Maxwell at left back because Carlos Puyol's injury. It will force Pep Guardiola to play Abidal in the centre alongside Pique.

Therefore I believe he will play Walcott on the right and Nasri on the left.

Walcott also offers more protection  to our right back, who tonight will be Emmanuel Eboue because Bacray Sagna is suspended. 

Although harsh on Arshavin, I believe Wenger has to pick Nasri and Walcott as these two have been or most consistent performers this season.

Therefore I believe the Arsenal starting line up will be:

Szczesny

Eboue - Djourou - Koscielny - Clichy

Song - Wilshere

Walcott - Fabregas - Nasri

van Persie

Subs: Alumunia, Gibbs, Squillaci, Denilson, Arshavin, Bendtner, Chamakh.

I'll post the official team line up once it's announced. Where ever you are support our boys with your red and white and if you're going to be at the ground lets make some noise and really get behind our team.  Come on you Gooners!!!


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