Tonight is another big game for the Arsenal: Rennes away in the Europa League. Rennes is an old and fine city and have a more than decent stadium. I have no doubt that tonight we will see a good game of European football. A win over two legs will get us into the quarter finals and for this we will need of course a good performance during the first leg.
Rennes had a requested league-football rest over the weekend and will be fresh and focussed. Arsenal, on the other hand, played in a tough NLD last weekend and are awaiting another top-four battle on Sunday. Luckily, we played really well and are starting to get back into a winning groove, and with the right focus and energy we surely should be too strong for our inexperienced, low-flying opponents?!
Arsenal took a strong squad to Western France and we should expect Unai to pick a very competitive team. Yet I also expect him to initially leave out a few players who will start v MU – one or two in each section: Leno, Koz, Kola, Xhaka, Rambo and even Auba?? This would allow us to have a fresh, strong spine which we surely will need on Sunday.
So what does this leave us with (bearing in mind that Lichtsteiner and Elneny have not travelled)?
- Cech instead of Leno!
It would be good to give Kola a break and allow Monreal to get further into shape and form. If Ainsley is fit it would be good for him to get a start. Torreira has to play and I have a feeling that Suarez may start next to him in the Double DM-Pivot (resting Guendouzi, at least initially).
Iwobi could be rested too but I reckon we will need him to start in this one as Laca is not available. Ozil in the hole and Mkhi on the right, with Auba in attack as we do not really have much choice. Eddie may get a chance in the second half and I, for one, would love to see him in action again.
Should be a good game as long as the team treat it with respect from the start!