After a sweeping performance at home against Galatarasay, Wenger and his boys take the short cross town trip to Chelsea on a mission to keep up with the League leaders, while leveraging on the momentum from the midweek game. There was hardly any player who didn’t give 100% in that game, yet some will be looking to right some wrongs while for others, the pressure will be considerably less. In the first category lies the first man of this list of persons to impress.
- Wojciech Szeczney
Whether it was lapse in concentration, poor timing or just being Woj, our goalkeeper just seems to want doubts cast over his long term competence every now and then. One moment he’s the reason why we’re in a game, at another split second he spoils a perfect day. He may have won a share of the Golden Glove last season but three games will always stand to make a mockery of that achievement, especially the one in which his team could not salvage anything of a consolation. We go to that same ground on Sunday, and if we are not to begin a cause for the consideration of Ospina, Szeczney would have to show good composure and strong fists against Chelsea. The defence has to have the confidence of their last man behind them.
- Kieran Gibbs
After an excellent shift in the Champions League game, Roy Hodgson could not do without having Gibbs in his squad for the next round of qualifiers – perhaps still wondering how he did not take him to Brasil in June. Gibbs is every inch good enough to replace anyone who is currently playing that role for England as he’s even the only one playing in the most elite competition in Europe. The face-swap red card last season would probably still bring hurts (or chuckles even), but as much as he would be playing his heart out for an Arsenal win, usurping Leighton Baines for good will be an extra motivation.
- Danny Welbeck
Does he really have anything to prove anymore? Diego Costa has scored 7 goals in 9 games; Danny has bagged 4 in 5, that’s Diego’s 77.77% vs Danny’s 80%. Are there still doubters about his finishing ability or any hesitation to state that he will go on to be a success at Arsenal? Of course it will be too premature to make conclusions at this stage, but if his Champions League home debut is anything to go by, we just might have replaced Henry in seemingly unfashionable circumstances. He wasn’t here when we got dumped last season but that is only an advantage as he will go with fearlessness and confidence. The England squad for next week has no rival for him in the Number 9 position, he’ll be looking to consolidate on that.
- Mesut Ozil
Perhaps if we didn’t have him in our team now, the player who will turn out with the Number 4 jersey for Chelsea would be in our team for Sunday. Wenger had considered Fabregas a surplus and a distraction, and decided against taking that option to take him back, and in some way, Ozil will be expected to outshine Fabregas to justify Wenger’s decision. But Ozil WILL NEVER play to impress anyone. He will play as his meandering, meticulous self. More to Ozil’s arsenal will be that while his own manager chose him over Fabregas, the man in the opposition’s dugout rates him as the best in his role. So what’s the pressure?
AND… err… Arsene Wenger
It was at this very ground that his 1000th game anniversary was turned to a requiem. He will face this very manager who he has never managed to beat. Will he outsmart this menace of his at least this once? Maybe not a player on the field, but his locker room skills will be under serious scrutiny once again.
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