Star striker dropped in Wenger 4-2-3-1: Arsenal best possible XI to face Ludogorets
By Tony Hughes
Wenger has a fine balancing act to make on Wednesday evening in a Champions League game that Arsenal are expected to win against Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets.
Wenger must rest his star striker but still put out a team that’s capable of getting three points, crucial if Arsenal have any ambitions of topping their Champions League group.
Taking Ludogorets lightly would be a disaster and Wenger only has to look back to last season’s Champions League campaign and the game against Dinamo Zagreb for proof.
However, Alexis Sanchez was out on his feet at the end of the game against Swansea on Saturday, after his exertions for Chile in the international break.
He was substituted in the 82nd minute of the game and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was given a rare runout.
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Sanchez must be dropped to the bench against Ludogorets to give him a rest in favour of new striker Lucas Perez, who needs minutes and a goal to give him a confidence boost at his new club.
At the other end regular Champions League goalie David Ospina should start in goal, with the rest of the back four unchanged from Saturday’s Premier League game.
Granit Xhaka is set to miss three games after his rash tackle on Saturday saw him get a straight, if somewhat harsh, red card.
He should miss out tonight as well, making way for Francis Coquelin who is back from injury and should get the nod over Mohamed Elneny. He should be joined by Santi Cazorla in midfield.
In front of these two, Alex Iwobi must be given the chance to build on his fantastic start to the season and gain some valuable Champions League experience.
He should be joined by Mesut Ozil, who is in fine goal-scoring form this season after getting his third of the season against Swansea.
Theo Walcott is also in brilliant form at the moment and looks sharp, scoring a brace against Swansea, although he probably should have had more.
Walcott has struggled for consistency over the years at Arsenal and should be given the chance to build on what could be his most successful season for the Gunners to date.
In other Arsenal team news, Olivier Giroud is back in training and could be ready to make his return against Middlesbrough on Saturday.