3 Things Arsenal Need To Do To Ensure Qualification Into Next Round
As Arsenal get ready to face off against Olympiakos in the Champions League, manager Arsene Wenger knows that it is a must-win game for his side, who need to beat their opponents by a couple of goals at least to secure qualification to the round of 16. The Gunners have lost just once in their last five matches in all competitions and will hope to carry that form forward. If the north London side wish to advance to the knockout stages of the tournament, they will have to perform at their very best and the French manager would hope that his side can produce a solid performance when they travel to Greece.
Injuries have once again made things worse for Wenger’s side, especially to some of the regular first-team players like Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla.
It seems that the Frenchman will now have to use the options available to him wisely and here are three things that Arsenal really need to do in order to secure qualification to the round of 16:
3. Theo Walcott to start in place of Joel Campbell
There is no doubt that Theo Walcott is a better-attacking option that Joel Campbell and it would be wise to play both him and Olivier Giroud in the game, as Arsenal are in need of goals to qualify. The England international was scoring goals on a regular basis, prior to his injury which kept him out for quite some time. It would be interesting to see whether this ploy really works or not, though it is a risk worth to be taken.
Arsenal lost to Olympiakos in the reverse fixture and will want to turn things around, as they look to go through. Europe has not been the Londoner’s most preferred hunting ground and the team will have to fight hard to secure a win and go through.
2. Use Olivier Giroud upfront
If both Giroud and Walcott have to play, it would mean that the latter would have to play on the wings. The France international would feature as the lone striker and his strength and ability to shoot would come handy to the Gunners.
The Frenchman has done a good job in the absence of his team-mate, who was sidelined with yet another injury that he picked up in the League Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday and recently made his return to the squad.
Play the double pivot of Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini for better balance
With injuries to Francis Coquelin, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla, the holding midfield roles were up for grabs. The two players who were capable of playing in the defensive midfield roles were Mathieu Flamini and Calum Chambers. The latter has had a horrific time this season, which meant that the Frenchman would be the ideal choice. Further, Aaron Ramsey, who returned from an injury recently was also pushed into the holding midfield role alongside Flamini.
It would once again be a good decision to play them in those roles, as they provide better balance to the team, instead of using any other players to fill in. The Welshman also managed to score a goal at the weekend against Sunderland and could make a difference in the mid-week clash as well.