Arsenal with just TWO changes for Basel in Champions League

There has been a lot of speculation about how many changes to the Arsenal starting line up Arsene Wenger will make for the second Champions League group match against the Swiss champions Basel tonight, even more so with Francis Coquelin reminding the Gunners boss of how injury problems have plagued the club in recent years.

Apart from having to replace the defensive midfielder though, with Granit Xhaka the obvious choice, I think we will see just one other change from the 11 players that started and did so well against Chelsea in the Premier League at the weekend. Arsenal do have an EPL match on Sunday to consider but after that is the international break and the trip to Burnley is a game we expect to win anyway.

I think Wenger will want to continue the good form and momentum that Arsenal have been building and that would surely be easier if you keep the same players on the pitch, especially when all of them are playing well and looking like a solid unit.

The only other change I think Arsenal will make is to bring Ospina in for Cech after his heroics in the first group game away to PSG. Is this how you would set up for Basel?

Arsenal star still considering SHOCK transfer exit!!

Arsenal fans and Arsene Wenger will have to wait until after the current Premier League season draws to a close, for better or worse, before we have a clearer picture of which players may be still in the Arsenal squad for next season, and the next couple of months and the eight Premier League games left for us to play could have a big say on this.

That is definitely the case with our Colombian international keeper David Ospina, as a report in the Daily Star explains that the current first choice between the sticks is leaving a decision on his future until the summer.

You would definitely say that the last few weeks have increased the chances of him staying at Arsenal, because the injury to Petr Cech has given him a chance he was not likely to get before and he has used that chance to remind us all just what a class act he is.

Ospina said, “Since Petr joined we have built a good friendship.

“However, we are still competing for the spot.

“I don’t want to think about the summer. I’m focused on the present and my present is Arsenal.

“We will see how this season ends, then we will see what happens with my future.”

I wonder if Ospina is thinking about what he can learn from the Arsenal number one if he stays and balancing that against the likely chances of him actually playing. Could it be as simple as whether the Gunners are in the Champions League or not? Or is it a simple choice for the club between him and Wojciech Szczesny?

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Arsenal fans are under no illusions about the size of the task facing the Gunners in the Champions League this evening, with Barcelona having claimed a historic second continental treble last season and with their front three of Messi, Neymar and Suarez in devastating form both individually and as an attacking trident.

But if anyone should feel a bit less fear about facing the Barca front three it is Arsenal and particularly our new keeper Petr Cech. The Czech Republic international has an amazing and encouraging record against the best player in the world and the winner of the Ballon D’Or, as he has faced Messi no fewer than six times while playing for Chelsea and the little Argentinean has never managed to beat Cech.

Messi even missed a penalty against the big keeper in a Champions League semi-final and that suggests that the complex that the Barca striker might have could really be there. As reported by best dating apps fo young adult men though, it is not just Messi that has struggled against our number one, as between then the Barca forwards have played 11 games against Cech and only managed to score two goals.

That certainly gives us reason for hope, although none of these games involved Arsenal. However, when Suarez was sweeping all before him in a Liverpool shirt, he did not enjoy himself against us, managing just two goals against the Gunners during his four seasons in England and neither of those goals helped his side to a win over us.

Can we keep this remarkable record going tonight?

Will Arsenal’s secret plan for beating Barcelona really work?

Even though the seemingly never ending Arsenal injury curse has hit us once again and inflicted the Brazilian defender Gabriel with a hamstring problem that will keep him out of the Champions League clash with Barcelona, or at the least the first leg of it tonight at the Emirates Stadium, he is confident that his team mates will be able to do a job on the visiting team without him.

As reported by Metro this week the centre back has revealed that the Gunners have been working hard on a way to stop the free scoring Catalans, spearheaded by the most potent attacking front three in world football of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, from getting goals against Arsenal.

Gabriel also suggested that he had a part in developing this secret strategy to curb the attacking threat of the current UCL champions, probably drawing on his experience in La Liga with Villarreal.

He said, ‘I know the formula to stop Messi, Neymar and Suarez but it is locked under seven keys!

‘I cannot reveal the formula. If I reveal it, I risk all the strategy the team has worked on. But it won’t be easy to stop them.

‘Although there is this attention on Leicester, Arsenal will win the Premier League.

‘We all want to get our spot in Arsenal’s history. We all want to win the Champions League this time.’

I am glad that the Gunners have a plan but I am also sure that many teams before us have had a plan to stop Barca and not too many managed it, even when their attack was almost exclusively centre around Messi. Now they have Neymar and Suarez as well and any of those three can kill you.

Whatever this plan is it will need all of our back four to be at their best for it to work, and will need great protection in front from Coquelin with Cech on top form behind them. But will it work?

Is Wenger right to reject this Arsenal transfer bid?

The next game up for Arsenal in this tough period we find ourselves in looks a little easier than the previous three against Liverpool, Stoke City and Chelsea. But even though our FA cup opponents Burnley are one division below the Gunners, they are in very good form.

Arsene Wenger is sure to have one eye on the Premier League match with Southampton three days later and so the Frenchman is sure to rotate quite a few of his first team stars, including handing a rare start to the second choice keeper David Ospina who The Sun reports that the boss has turned down an offer for from the Turkish club Besiktas.

The thing is though, should a second string Arsenal get knocked out of the FA cup on Saturday, how many more chances is the Colombian international going to get this season ahead of Petr Cech. Besiktas have offered a loan deal but surely we could push them for close to the £3 million we paid for him and bring Szczesny back from his loan spell in Serie A with Roma.

Is it right for Wenger to keep Ospina against his will when we have Szczesny who wants to be here?

BOTH Arsenal stars’ anniversaries bad news for Chelsea

You have probably seen a lot of Arsenal related articles today about the fact that it is 10 years today since Theo Walcott signed for the club from his boyhood club Southampton, but there is another Arsenal star who had a major event in his football career 10 years ago, although not to the day.

It was in October of 2006 that our keeper Petr Cech suffered that horrible head injury while playing in the Premier League for Chelsea and the 33-year old has been talking about it to Arsenal Player this week. The Gunners number one admits that it was a tough time for him, even though he felt sure that he would play again despite many other people’s dire predictions.

Cech said, “There were a lot of people saying it was probably the end and that I would not play again. You get so many people telling you that you should take time, you should take the whole year off and build up slowly to get back.

“I wanted to get back playing as this is what I enjoy the most and it was a challenge to prove to everyone that I don’t need a whole year. It was a massive challenge for me because there were days when you just feel like it will never happen, it’s not going well, you don’t feel well and you think, ‘Ok what am I going to do.’

“But then you had days where all the positive things came back and I was really happy with the way I did it. I enjoyed the rest of the season when I came back because it was kind of a bonus. Nobody expected me to play so I really enjoyed that because I played with less pressure as I was appreciating the fact that I was back.

“It brought a lot of things back into perspective as well. I know that I can do other things and I will probably be able to do different things. But you only discover that then, which is a positive because since then I’ve known that any day it can stop.

“You have to be ready for the plan B or plan C. It’s quite a learning experience.”

Cech can quite rightly be very proud of how he coped with that challenge and went on to become a real Premier League great. And he can add to that reputation by helping Arsenal to finish the season strongly and match the English record if Eric Cantona by winning back to back titles with different clubs.

Walcott also has a great incentive to mark his 10 year anniversary with a performance and a goal against Cech’s former club this weekend. With these two inspired Gunners at either end of the pitch, are Chelsea heading for big trouble?

Arsenal star – Gunners WILL handle Premier League pressure

It has been one of the strangest and most topsy-turvy Premier League seasons ever this time and Arsenal have been amongst the clubs fighting to the title for almost all of it so far. But we have not spent nearly as much time on top of the table as we did a couple of years ago.

Arsenal finished fourth that season and so everyone concerned with the club knows that being top right now wins you nothing. But that battling point away to Stoke City did keep Arsenal on top for another week, even if the Man City win did bring our main rivals within touching distance.

This time, however, the Gunners look a lot less likely to crumble and fall away from the lead, something that our England international star Theo Walcott is confident about. In an interview reported by Sky Sports the flying forward sounds as if he is loving the close and exciting nature of the title race and he reckons that he and his team mates are well up for the challenge and are in a much better position to handle the pressure.

Walcott said, “You can’t tell what’s going to happen this year, it’s just so tight.

“With the amount of teams that could potentially win this league, it’s probably going to be the most exciting Premier League for a neutral ever.

“No one can call it, but we’re top and we can be proud of that at this moment in time. The mental strength in this dressing room’s the strongest it’s ever been

“When you have the likes of Petr Cech coming in, he just enhances that. He’s a leader. We’ve just got to look at him because he’s obviously been at the top level and won many things. If we all have the belief he’s got, we can push on.”

But is this just talk or will Theo and his Arsenal team mates hold firm this time and lift the coveted trophy in May?

POW! Arsenal hit Chelsea with TRIPLE transfer defeat

So you thought that Arsenal had a pretty poor summer in the transfer market did you? Well maybe so, but it was not as bad as that of our Premier League rivals Chelsea and Jose Mourinho.

Not only did Arsene Wenger manage to sign the excellent keeper Petr Cech from the Stamford Bridge club, a decision by Chelsea that looks even stranger now that their young Belgian stopper Thibaut Courtois has picked up a long term injury, but the Frenchman got one over his Portuguese rival with the transfer of two very promising young players.

According to a Metro report, Chelsea were interested in signing the exciting 17-year old French midfielder Jeff Reine-Adelaide who has already impressed in the Arsenal side during pre-season, scoring and providing an assist.

The report also reveals that Chelsea were very close to signing the 16-year old Dutch player Donyell Malen but as they dithered over his salary demands, Wenger nipped in and snapped up the talented youngster from Ajax, apparently after former Gunners favourite Dennis Bergkamp had tipped off his old boss.

Malen scored his first goal for the Arsenal under 18 team last weekend and if he and Reine-Adelaide do go on to realise their great potential, Chelsea may just be left kicking themselves for these two missed transfers as well as the Cech one.

BIG title chances convinced Ospina to stay at Arsenal?

As it became more and more clear that the Arsenal transfer rumours connecting us with the Chelsea and Czech Republic keeper Petr Cech were right on the money, there was a great feeling of expectation among us Arsenal fans about what difference the talented and experienced stopper would make to our title credentials.

The only question was whether it would be the Poland international Wojciech Szczesny or the Colombian number one David Ospina that would be the second choice for the Gunners. A lot of us wanted Ospina but it seemed that he would not be happy as Cech’s understdy and would be moving on this summer.

I could not have blamed him as his performances for Arsenal proved his talent and that he deserved regular game time. But now it appears that Ospina does want to stay with Arsenal after all, as reported by the Spanish sports daily MundoDeportivo. He also talked about the transfer rumours linking him to Everton, although his preference is clear.

Ospina said, “I want to continue with Arsenal. I am very happy in London and so are my family. Because of this I hope to complete my four year contract with the club.”

He said he would use the rest of his holiday to analyse the situation and then talk it over with Arsene Wenger. He also said that it would be great to work with Cech and that he hoped to learn a lot from the former Chelsea star. So what has caused this change of mind? I have to assume it is that he can see that Arsenal have a great chance of wiining the Premier League this season and that he has a chance to be a part of great things with a great club.

Seaman says Chelsea have just GIFTED Arsenal the title!!

The former Arsenal and England international number one, David Seaman, has had his say on the club´s new signing Petr Cech, and who is better qualified to judge the impact that a top class keeper could have on the Gunners and our chances of getting back to the top of English football and winning the Premier League?

As reported by Sky Sports, the Arsenal legend seems very surprised about the decision by Chelsea to allow the Czech Republic glovesman to join a direct rival, especially when the keeper position is one of the things that has been holding Arsenal back and stopping us from becoming champions of the Premier League.

It does seem an odd move from the Blues, especially when Jose Mourinho suggested that it would be a bad idea and could really help his arch rival Arsene Wenger.

Seaman said, “Chelsea’s loss could, and likely will, be Arsenal’s gain.

“In my opinion, this signing could genuinely be the difference between who will come first and who will come second next season.”

We all certainly hope so, although with David Ospina behind our much improved defence in the second half of last season, the Gunners were already in title winning form but had left ourselves too much to do with a slow start. Can Cech help Arsenal to start strongly and stay consistent? And what else do we need to make Seaman´s words come true?