By Tony Attwood
So before we go any further time to look at the goal scorers
|3||Sergio Agüero||Manchester City||10|
Alexis has also got a couple of goals in Europe. So as we look forward to tonight’s game it is time to compare Alexis and Thierry Henry once again.
Alexis scored 25 in season one, 17 in season two and 13 thus far in season three. Thierry Henry’s record was 26, 22, 32 across those three seasons. The difference in the second season came from the fact that Alexis played 11 games fewer than Thierry.
So it is all looking rather jolly, but even so there is a chance that tonight Alexis will play on the wing to let Giroud go into the centre. Francis Coquelin has not travelled as he is suspended. Özil has travelled will presumably play but could be taken off if PSG’s score makes it clear that Arsenal have no chance of bettering them tonight.
Speaking of giving Alexis a rest Mr Wenger said, “It’s more dangerous to stop him than keep him going. It is always difficult to work out what is physical and what is mental [in terms of fatigue], and predicting who is tired and who is not can be hard. So I have kept them all together as a group. We have a squad that is united.
“All the players at the top want to play, and are keen to play. Alexis is a bit more extroverted in how he shows it, but you do not get to his level if you don’t have a good passion to play the game. He just shows it in a different way. But I haven’t decided yet, honestly. I have a few more hours, but my main priority will be to win the game. Overall, it’s stability. But we have to do our job, and continue to win the games we play. You never know what might be happening in Paris. We’ll see: PSG are favourites to beat Ludogorets at home and win the group, but we can assess that scoreline at half-time and see where we go.”
|Paris Saint Germain||5||3||2||0||11||5||6||11|
In other groups Porto, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Benfica are all in second place, exactly as are Arsenal, and Mr Wenger said, “It looks quite even if you finish first or second. The advantage of finishing first is you play the second leg at home, and possibly 30 minutes of extra time at home.
So what do we know about Arsenal and Basel, apart from the oft repeated tale that Arsenal have won all five of their previous competitive games against Swiss clubs? Here’s their league table, and it makes rather impressive reading.
You may (if you are of that turn of mind) wish to compare and contrast with the Premier League
But Baselca can be a threat and have won their last three Champions League home games against English clubs and have only lost only two of their past eight Champions League home games, those defeats coming against Real Madrid and PSG.
We’ve not gone through the Champions League group stages without a defeat since 2005/06. And there is a similarity between our plights. Basel must do better than Ludo to get into the Europa league with Tottenham, just as we need to better PSG’s result to win the group.
So to the team:
Gabriel Mustafi Koscielny Gibbs
Ramsey Ozil Iwobi
with the alternative option of Alexis playing instead of Iwobi and Giroud playing up front.
If we have that line up above the on the beach we could see Lucas, Petr Cech, The Ox, Theo, Holding, Monreal, Maitland-Niles.
As for the other pointers:
- Arsenal have scored two or more goals in each of their last four Champs League games
- Bales have failed to win any of their last seven Champs League games.
- We’ve just played five in a row undefeated in the Champs League.
From the anniversary files: when everyone saw the name had changed
6 December 1919: 50,000 came to Highbury for the first time to see 1-1 draw with Chelsea. It was also the day on which the programme referred to the club on its cover for the first time simply as “Arsenal”.
The full list of each day’s anniversaries appears on the home page (except when I forget) and you can see all 5000 of the anniversary file stories here.