Emirates Stadium, London
4 November 2014, 20:45 GMT
In group D, Arsenal and Anderlecht gear up for their fourth Champions League game, which will be played in London at the Emirates.
Arsenal have been in good form recently, having won the reverse fixture in Belgium and also a 3-0 victory over Burnley at the weekend. Wenger’s men will be aiming for nothing short of a victory as the Gunners will progress to the knockout stages if they win the game. If Arsenal should win, it will be their third consecutive win in the tournament and will help them pile pressure on group leaders Borussia Dortmund.
Anderlecht gave Arsenal a tough time when the two teams met in Belgium. Anderlecht were on the verge of victory until late strikes from Kieran Gibbs and Podolski spoiled the party for the Belgian club. The club has been in great form domestically and are at the top of Jupiler League in Belgium. Anderlecht need a win to keep hopes of knockout stage qualification alive as they only have 1 point in 3 games to their name. A defeat will mean the Belgian club will have to fight it out with Galatasaray for the Europa League spot.
Arsenal did not pick up any new injuries in the Premier League game against Burnley and Theo Walcott has returned to full fitness ahead of this game. In defence, Arsenal are without Debuchy and Koscielny while there is a long list of injuries in the midfield with Özil and Diaby being the prominent names to miss out. In his pre-match press conference, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirmed that Jack Wilshere is also set to miss the game as the English midfielder is suffering from an illness.
The game is a must-win for Arsenal as progression to the knockout stages will be sealed through a victory. Wenger’s side will want to win the game at any cost as it will considerably decrease the pressure on them. A win will mean that Arsenal can go a bit easy in the game against Galatasaray though they will have to put up a good fight against Dortmund if they wish to top the group.
Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1) – Szczesny; Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs; Arteta, Ramsey; Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanchez; Welbeck
On Saturday, when Anderlecht drew against Lokeren, midfielder Steven Defour sustained a thigh injury. The injury to Defour comes as a big blow for the Belgian side as he is one of their most important players. Another player who is bound to miss the game is defender Fabrice N’Sakala whose suffering from a knee injury. Matias Suarez and Bram Nuytinck are also out of the game.
Anderlecht showed Arsenal that they should not be taken lightly when the Gunners visited Belgium in the reverse fixture. Anderlecht showed grit and spirit and were unlucky to lose in the dying minutes of the game courtesy a late goal each from Gibbs and Podolski. Anderlecht will have to win the game in order to remain in contention for a spot in the round-of-16. Defending will be the key for the visiting side as they try to contain the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck.
Predicted Line-Up (4-2-3-1) – Proto; Vanden Borre, Mbemba, Heylen, Deschacht; Conte, Tielemans; Najar, Praet, Acheampong; Cyriac
Player to watch out for
The Chilean has been in great form and has scored 10 goals since joining Arsenal from Barcelona in the summer. Sanchez has been giving some amazing performance in the Gunners’ colours and is expected to continue his form on Tuesday against Anderlecht.
Arenal 2-0 Anderlecht
Arsenal should not have a problem winning at home especially with them being in good form in the recent weeks. The home side are expected to win the game by a comfortable margin despite the fact that Anderlecht can be a tricky opposition.