Arsenal have not had the best of the European seasons in their history as they have lost 3 games out of four in their group stage matches in the Champions League this season. They will host Dinamo Zagreb, the team that gave Wenger his first loss this season away from home. These results for Arsenal has made this tie a do or die for the Gunners as they might crash out of the competition if they fail to get a result out of this game.
The visitors are equal on points with the London club and will be hoping that they can repeat their heroics when these two teams met the last time around. They won with a 2-1 score line and will be jubilant if they can repeat their performance. Here is the preview of this Champions League group stage encounter.
The Match between Arsenal and Dinamo Zagreb will be played on Tuesday the 24th of November at the Emirates Stadium in London. The kick-off is scheduled at 20:45 GMT (1:15 am on Wednesday IST).
Arsenal have up to 9 players missing from the squad due to injuries. Wilshere, Welbeck, Walcott and Chamberlain have all been ruled out previously. Francis Coquelin and Mikel Arteta also picked up injuries in their last game against WBA and will not be available for this game. Arsene Wenger must quickly come-up with a plan B as he is not able to use his best XI for a long time. However, Aaron Ramsey is expected to return to the squad for this fixture and it will come as a great news for the Gunners.
For Zagreb, their 24 year old midfielder A Ademi was dismissed by FIFA and will not be able to play for the club for the next four years. The rest of the squad have already made their intent clear that they want to dedicate this season to their star player. Apart from this, the visitors have a fit squad and will hope that they can get a result out of this game.
Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Cazorla, Ramsey, Sanchez, Ozil, Gibbs, Giroud.
Eduardo, Ivo Pinto, Sigali, Taravel, Pivaric, Machado, Rog, Henriquez, Soudani, Pjaca, Goncalo.
Key Battles :
O Giroud vs J Taravel
A battle of French Internationals, Taravel and Giroud will go head to head in front of the Zagreb goal on Tuesday. Giroud has hit a goal scoring form off late and is looking dangerous in set-pieces. He will hope that he can take Arsenal to the next round but will face an experienced 28 year old who is known for his ariel ability. It will be interesting to see how Taravel will cope with the presence of Giroud in the penalty area.
A Henriques vs L Koscielny
The Chilean national Henriquez is one of the best players for Zoran Mamic’s side. He has a very good eye for goal and has already played in England as a loanee for Wigan Athletic. He will be up against Koscielny who has looked solid at the back for the Gunners. Both the players are good readers of the game and this battle may well decide the outcome of the game.
Dinamo Zagreb: 14/1
Arsenal are fresh from a defeat to West Browmwich Albion in the Premier League and are far from a top side with all the injuries. They will have to fight it out against the Croatian outfit to stay alive in the competition. But they have enough fire-power to see off this test and the manager will hope that his players put in a better performance than when the teams met the last time around as they are playing at home.
Arsenal 3-0 Dinamo Zabreb