COMMENT By Tony Hughes
Arsene Wenger could make up to five changes for Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Ludogorets despite Arsenal’s run of six straight wins.
With the attacking players in such fluent form, the path into the team for the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lucas Perez and Mohamed Elneny has been blocked.
But the trio could all start against the Bulgarian minnows at Emirates Stadium for a match that Arsenal are expected to win quite comfortably.
They could be joined in the starting XI by Kieran Gibbs and David Ospina as Wenger gives a breather to regular starters, with Alexis Sanchez, Alex Iwobi, Santi Cazorla, Nacho Monreal and Petr Cech possibly dropping down to the bench.
Last time out Arsenal brushed aside Basel at home, after drawing their opening Champions League game 1-1 away to Paris Saint-Germain.
Ludogorets are the weakest of the four teams in the group, which could convince Wenger to rotate his team and give some game time to the fringe men.
Wenger is loathe to rotate his defenders in the early months of a season but Monreal has started all 10 of Arsenal’s Premier League and Champions League matches to date and could be given a rest.
Sanchez, who has scored five goals this season in his new spearhead role, could join the left-back on the bench alongside other regulars.
One almost certain decision is that Cech will be demoted for a third consecutive Champions League match to the bench in favour of his able deputy Ospina.
The Colombian responded to the surprise call-up in the opening group match against Paris Saint-Germain with an outstanding display that ensured his team returned to England with a valuable point.
In other Arsenal team news, Wenger is ready to let this young star out on loan to get more first-team football.