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Preview: Olympiakos v Arsenal, Team News, Line-Up & Prediction
Our Champions League fate will be decided tonight as Arsenal take on Olympiakos knowing anything other than victory will see us drop into the Europa League.
We currently sit third in Group F and three points adrift of second placed Olympiakos so we have to win and match/better their 3-2 victory at the Emirates in order to sneak second spot.
That means we need to win by two clear goals or win and score at least three in order to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League.
It’s certainly a tough task and it’s made even more daunting when you consider they are excellent on home soil and we’ve lost all three of our previous visits to Karaiskakis Stadium.
It’s laughable that we find ourselves in this situation as this is a group we should have comfortably progressed from but we’ve still got a chance to qualify so it’s up to the players to make up for the losses on Matchday 1 and 2.
Cazorla has been ruled out for up to four months with a knee ligament injury that he suffered against Norwich so he joins Coquelin on the sidelines.
Alexis is also out with a hamstring problem while Wilshere, Welbeck, Rosicky and Arteta are all still unavailable, but Walcott is pushing for a start after making his comeback from injury at the weekend.
Ramsey came through the Sunderland game unscathed after making his long-awaited comeback from a hamstring problem while Koscielny also showed no signs of the hip complaint that he picked up two weeks ago.
I think the back five picks itself and Flamini pretty-much has to play alongside Ramsey due to a lack of alternatives.
We need goals tonight so I’d like to see Walcott given a start. Many feel he should replace Giroud up front by I’d prefer to see him on the right and keep Olivier through the middle. The Frenchman is our top scorer this season and we need at least two goals.
Campbell would be unlucky to miss out but I just feel The Ox offers more than the Costa Rican overall. So this would be my team:
It’s almost impossible to predict what’s going to happen tonight. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if we bottled it and slumped to a defeat, win 1-0 and miss a sitter in the last minute, or pull off the miracle by securing a 3-1 win that would see us through.
We have the experience which should help in this situation and we have to hope that the pressure will get to the Greeks. It’s going to be a tense night, but I’m going to back the boys to secure a 3-1 win and book our place in the knockout stages! Olympiakos 1-3 Arsenal