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Preview: Ludogorets v Arsenal, team news, Sanchez out + prediction
Arsenal take on Ludogorets in Bulgaria this evening looking to secure safe passage to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
We currently sit top of Group A on goal difference from Paris Saint-Germain following the 6-0 demolition of Ludogorets at the Emirates two weeks ago.
Eight points from our first three games is a very healthy return and another win tonight would ensure we make it through to the knockout stages for the 18th consecutive season.
I’m sure Arsene Wenger will have one eye on tonight’s other game where PSG take on Basel as we’ll be looking for a favour from the Swiss champions to help us try and secure top spot.
We head in to tonight’s game in excellent form with Saturday’s 4-1 win at Sunderland keeping us level on points at the top of the Premier League table and extend our unbeaten run to 14 games in all competitions.
We’ll be without a number of first team regulars as Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott have all been left back in London nursing knocks.
Bellerin picked up a minor issue in training yesterday so isn’t risked meaning Carl Jenkinson is expected to start at right-back while Kieran Gibbs will keep his place at left-back with Monreal still nursing a muscle problem.
Walcott was able to train yesterday but isn’t risked with Sunday’s North London Derby in mind while Cazorla is still feeling the effects of an achilles injury that’s kept him out in recent games.
Aaron Ramsey is pushing for a start after making his comeback off the bench on Saturday while Granit Xhaka is back from his ban but Danny Welbeck, Per Mertesacker and Lucas Perez are still out.
Xhaka should definiately come back in to the side while I’d go with Mohamed Elneny alongside the Swiss international. Olivier Giroud should start up top after scoring twice off the bench at the weekend and I’d like to see Alexis Sanchez given a rest ahead of Spurs.
I think the 6-0 scoreline flattered us a little two weeks ago as Ludogorets were dangerous at times, especially in the first half, so I’m actually expecting a more difficult game tonight. However, even with a number of first team players missing we should still have enough to bring home the three points. I’m going for a 2-0 win. Ludogorets 0-2 Arsenal