After Arsenal’s poor showing against Anderlecht in the double-header stage of the Champions League Group it looked like we were going to struggle to qualify, but our 2-0 win over an out-of-form Dortmund team has now guaranteed our progression to the knockout rounds.
There IS a chance we could still top the group, but the chances of Dortmund losing to Anderlecht are pretty slim, so it looks like Wenger is going to take the opportunity to rest his exhausted first XI for the midweek match in Turkey. In fact he says he is not even going to think about the game but instad concentrate on or next League fixture!
Wenger said on Arsenal.com four days ago: “It is a very important period but one thing is for sure – we are not under huge pressure for game No 6 in the Champions League,”
“With the week we had behind us and the week we have now, to go to Galatasaray for a decisive game would be very difficult.
“At least we are not under massive pressure there so let’s focus on our next game at Stoke. It is a difficult place for us to go but let’s show there that we have improved and we can deal with it.”
Wenger also revealed yesterday: “A few players will not travel because there’s not a lot at stake and we have given a lot in the last two weeks,” said Wenger. “We have to recover a little bit.
“Alexis will not travel and I don’t think I can play, for example, Koscielny. He didn’t play on Saturday and I don’t see why I should risk him for a game where’s there’s not a lot at stake.
“First place hypothetically, but there’s maybe a 10 per cent chance.”
To be fair, our fit players could really do with a rest after playing four matches in just 11 days so it certainly makes sense to ignore an unimportant match in the great scheme of things.
And you never know, our reserves may do better than the first team and win anyway!