“Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up”.
Yes, that is a quote from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Yes, I am a bit of a loser. It’s fairly apt though, isn’t it?
The Norwich debacle is best left unmentioned. I’ve expressed my opinions on the game, and that’s the end of it for me. What’s important is how we set about our task tonight. Make no mistake; the German outfit are an excellent team, and if we turn out another shoddy and unenthusiastic performance, we’ll lose. Arsenal need to come out and play like Arsenal.
I expect Schalke not to ‘park the bus’, but to set up in an organised manner and attempt to hit us on the counter attack. They’ve not had the best start to the group, and they’ll be looking to come away with at least a point. Up front, they have Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and he is a lethal finisher who will need to be policed for the game’s entirety.
Team news is fairly simple; having played for the reserves on Monday, Jack Wilshere, Emmanuel Frimpong, and Bacary Sagna will not be included in the squad. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is out, but Laurent Koscielny returns after missing the trip to Norwich with back pain. There is no sign of any of the long-term injured players returning just yet.
I expect the team to line up as they did on Saturday, but Arsene does tend to throw in the odd surprise after a defeat. Serge Gnabry perhaps? We will have to see. Personally, I think we will start like this:
Tonight will be a big test. Schalke are arguably up there with Man City and Chelsea in terms of quality we have faced this season, and we’ll need to put the demons of Saturday to bed as quickly as possible. A lot will depend on our midfield trio and their ability to not only control the game, but to inject some attacking impetus.
If we perform like we can, I’m confident of a win. If we perform like we did on Saturday, then there may be some very disgruntled people in the stadium only too happy to make their feelings known. It’s an important game, this one.
Seeing as my predictions are invariably wildly inaccurate, I should say I expect Schalke to win 10-0. That, however, would be tempting fate, and I don’t especially want to incur any supporter wrath myself. I’m going to go for a slightly shaky, but reasonably assured 2-1 victory for the Arse. A draw wouldn’t be appalling, though.
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Thanks for reading today, you splendid carbon lifeforms. The comments await your views below. Do you agree with my team? What predictions do you have on the final score? Let me know.
I shall return tomorrow with a review of the game.