UEFA Champions League: Arsenal v Paris Saint Germain Preview – 23 November 2016 – Emirates Stadium
Arsenal v Paris Saint Germain Preview and Score Predictions
Arsenal and Paris Saint Germain will both vie for a top place in the Group B cluster. They have earned 10 points each from their 4 games so far. For Arsenal, the good news is the return of their prime scorer, Alexis Sanchez. The striker has recovered fully from an injury he suffered during the WC 2018 qualifying outings for his country, Chile. The mercurial striker was not exactly in his elements during Saturday’s derby clash against Manchester United. No doubt fans would expect more from him against PSG on Wednesday.
Of great concern for Wenger will the absence of one of his key men in the defence. 21-year old Hector Bellerin, out with an ankle injury. The under U-21 Spaniard could be sorely missed at the Emirates, given his ability to play in both in the defence and the wings. His absence at the back was felt at the Old Trafford when United were repeatedly able to break into the Gunner defence. Santi Cazorla could be another casualty in the middle.
Theo Walcott and Oxlaide-Chamberlain in the wings, Mesut Ozil in the center and Olivier Giroud coming in place of Mohamed Elneny could be expected to feature in the starting XI. With Sanchez back, the Arsenal attack will now have more teeth going into Wednesday night’s game. In the absence of Bellerin, Wenger will opt for a back line that will probably consist of Jenkinson, Mustafi, Koscielny and Monreal. But a return by the young Spanish defender against PSG cannot be ruled out. Wenger and Gunner fans will be hoping for that.
Didier Deschamps will probably be without left back Layvin Kurzawa and central midfielder, Adrien Rabiot. Javier Pastore could make a comeback after a long injury and along with the mercurial Uruguayan, Edinson Cavani, be PSG’s attacking mainstays at the Emirates.
Coming to current forms for the teams, Arsenal in the current 2016-17 Premier League are in the 4th spot with 25 points from their 11 games. The Gunners look like remaining in the Top four in the EPL for some time. French Ligue 1 title holders for last four successive seasons, Paris Sainrt Germain, find themselves in an unusual 3rd position with 26 points and three clean points behind Monaco and OGC Nice in 2016-17.
Arsenal and PSG met for the first time since 1994 when they played out the first leg clash at Parc des Princes, Paris, in September. That match ended in a 1-1 draw. At the Emirates, a draw with a 2-2 result could throw up a scenario where PSG could top the Group. But bookmakers seem be wagering on a home win for the Gunners.