Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has a selection headache ahead of Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Stoke City, with striker Lucas Perez pushing for his second start in the division after signing from Deportivo La Coruna in the summer. The Spaniard scored a hat-trick in Arsenal’s 4-1 win over FC Basel in the Champions League and could well operate on the right flank this weekend.
Archive for the ‘Arsenal Previews’
According to various reports, Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin could return in time to make the matchday squad for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Stoke City. The Spanish right-back has been out of action for a number of weeks with an ankle injury, but is undergoing a late fitness test to decide if he’ll make the 18-man squad.
Bellerin, 21, picked up in the injury late in Arsenal’s North London derby clash with Tottenham Hotspur in November, and has missed the Gunners’ last three Champions League group games against Ludogorets Razgard, Paris Saint-Germain and FC Basel and their last three Premier League encounters against Manchester United, Bournemouth and West Ham United.
Arsenal striker Lucas Perez scored a hat-trick as the Gunners thrashed FC Basel 4-1 at St. Jakob-Park on Tuesday night, sealing their place in the last-16 of the Champions League as Group A winners. The 28-year-old scored twice in the first 16 minutes of the game, and sealed his treble minutes after the restart.
Manager Arsene Wenger gave the former Deportivo man a full 90 minutes on the night, and now has a selection headache ahead of Saturday’s clash with Stoke City. Perez’s first goal came in the 8th minutes, courtesy of a pull back from Kieran Gibbs that the Spaniard could hard miss from close range.
Arsenal are hoping to snatch top spot in their final Champions League group game as they travel to face Swiss side FC Basel at St. Jakob-Park tonight. The Gunners could leapfrog leaders Paris Saint-Germain in the group if they better the result of the Parisians, and should at least win against Basel given the hosts’ woeful form in Europe this season.
FC Basel are currently bottom of Group A with two points from five games, having suffered three defeats from their last four. The home side have scored just two goals too, and have kept only one clear sheet in the Champions League – against fellow strugglers Ludogorets Razgrad, so Arsenal will fancy their chances of getting a result.
Arsenal travel to Switzerland to take on Basel on Tuesday night in the Champions League, with the Gunners hoping to somehow top Group A.
The home side have a poor record in the Champions League, having not won any of their last seven games in Europe’s elite competition. They currently sit fourth in the group and must better Ludogorets result against French giants PSG.
Their European form has been in contrast to their domestic form, as with the winter break coming up Basel look to be runaway leaders in the Swiss top-flight. However, they did suffer a 3-1 defeat at Young Boys last time out in their domestic campaign.
Arsenal may have thrashed West Ham United 5-1 in Saturday’s Premier League clash at the Olympic Stadium, but manager Arsene Wenger will mindful how reliant the Gunners were on playmaker Mesut Ozil, winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and centre-forward Alexis Sanchez for creativity.
Deep-lying midfielder Granit Xhaka provided little going forward, highlighted by centre-back Shkodran Mustafi creating more chances than him at the Olympic Stadium, and the summer-signing needs to produce more in Santi Cazorla’s absence to ensure Arsenal can break down better opposition this season.
Arsenal make the short trip across the capital to face West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday evening, as the Gunners look to stay in touch with the Premier League leading pack.
West Ham are enduring a nightmare campaign at the moment, currently sitting 16th in the Premier League table. Slaven Bilic’s team are just one point clear of the relegation zone and on Wednesday night suffered a 4-1 defeat at Manchester United in the EFL Cup.
The home side did record a creditable 1-1 draw at West Ham in the top-flight last weekend. Sakho gave the Hammers the lead, but the Red Devils hit back through Zlatan Ibrahimovic to earn a point.
Arsenal welcome Southampton at the Emirates Stadium in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup tonight, and are favourites to come out on top to progress to the last four.
The Gunners are in decent form ahead of their meeting with Southampton and will fancy their chances with home advantage and bragging rights from their win earlier in the season.
Arsenal are coming off the back of six wins and four draws from their last 10 games in all competitions, having picked up points against Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain recently. The Gunners have beaten Championship sides Nottingham Forest and Reading in the third round and last-16 respectively to make it this far in the competition, and will reach the semis if they can edge to victory.
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has been ruled out of Wednesday’s EFL Cup quarter-final meeting with Southampton with a hamstring injury. The French international noticed a twinge shortly after coming on in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth and subsequently exacerbated the injury by playing on it.
It’s a blow for the player himself as he would have featured against Southampton this week given the lack of starts afforded to him in the Premier League this season. But now Giroud is officially ruled out of the game at the Emirates Stadium, Lucas Perez looks set to lead the line after recovering from his own recent injury.
Arsenal host Southampton at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup.
Arsenal are on an unbeaten run of 19 games in all competitions after a 3-1 home win against Bournemouth in the Premier League on Sunday, with Alexis Sanchez scoring a brace and Theo Walcott also getting on the scoresheet.
Sanchez is the Gunners top scorer with eight goals, but looks unlikely to feature in this clash as boss Arsene Wenger normally fields a weakened side in the League Cup.