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Wenger ready to make controversial selection decision vs Bayern
According to the Telegraph, Arsene Wenger is considering dropping Mesut Ozil for Arsenal’s crucial Champions League clash with Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.
We head to the Allianz Arena for the first leg of our last-16 clash with Bayern having got ourselves back to winning ways with a crucial 2-0 win over Hull City on Saturday afternoon.
It got our season back on track following consecutive defeats to Watford and Chelsea but the big test for this fragile team comes on Wednesday night in Germany.
We’ve not been playing well and were fortunate against Hull at the weekend so understandably Arsene is mulling over his team selection options ahead of our return to European competition.
I’m sure Danny Welbeck must be pushing for a start with Theo Walcott badly out of form, Francis Coquelin’s place must be under threat with Granit Xhaka available again while Kieran Gibbs is pushing Nacho Monreal for the left-back spot.
However, perhaps the biggest decision the manager has to make is what to do with an out-of-form Mesut Ozil as the German international has been poor in recent weeks and he’s the type of luxury player we can’t really afford to carry away at Bayern.
Could Wenger drop our record signing on Wednesday? Well the Telegraph claim that the boss is giving it serious consideration, or at the very least he may opt to give him a different role.
Arsene has publicly expressed his concern at Ozil’s slump in form and he’s made it clear the objective from Wednesday’s game is to stay in the tie ahead of the second leg at the Emirates.
So it’s looks as though we’re going to try and keep things tight and nick a goal if possible, and these sorts of games aren’t ideal for a player like Ozil where we’ll be starved of possession and having to work our nuts off defensively.
Ideally we’d have a solid three-man central midfield and if Wenger chooses to go with Xhaka, Coquelin and Oxlade-Chamberlain in the middle for example, then that could see Ozil left on the bench.
Alternatively, the boss may decide to move Mesut out to the left wing but there has to be question marks over whether the German playmaker will stick to his defensive duties and track the Bayern full-back for 90 minutes.
It’s a huge decision for Wenger to make but one things for sure, Ozil will not be happy if he’s left out and that will be a concern amid on-going contract extension talks.
My gut feeling? Ozil will start on Wednesday….