Arsenal are looking to cement their place in the first position of their Champions League group with a routine win over Ludogorets at the Emirates, whom they will be facing for the first time in Europe.
Arsenal have failed to qualify in the second round of the Champions League from the first position since 2011/12 season, which has led them to face stronger opponents and consequently get eliminated. However, the Gunners are now in a strong position where they have lost only one game in the last 7 months in all competitions.
They will hope for an easy game to continue their winning streak to seven matches in the current season. This game is also crucial as their next Champions League matches will be followed by two games will be followed by two away games at Switzerland and Bulgaria and hosting PSG at home. They will have to be wary though as the Bulgarians caused Liverpool some trouble a few seasons ago.
Arsenal will be without striker Olivier Giroud and midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who although have returned to full training with the first team but is expected to be given more recovery time by manger Arsene Wenger. With Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck still out for a long time, Arsene won’t be having much options up front other than to play the in-form Walcott and Sanchez.
Ludogorets will be a coming with all their main players fit for the big game with their attacking trio in red hot form.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1) – Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Cazorla; Iwobi, Ozil, Walcott; Sanchez
Ludogorets (4-4-4) – Stoyanov; Minev, Moți, Palomino, Natanael; Dyakov, Anicet; Misidjan, Marcelinho, Wanderson, Cafú.
With Walcott scoring 6 goals in the last 5 games in all competition, he is easily the one to watch out for in the game. Apart from the Englishman, Alexis Sanchez, who has been directly in the club’s last 17 goals is predicted by many to score a hat trick. Alex Iwobi is expected to continue his brilliant Champions League campaign against Ludogorets.
Apart from the attacking trio, all eyes will be on Ozil and Cazorla, who have been successful in pulling strings in the midfield. With Xhaka out for the next 3 Premier league games, Wenger is expected to start him ahead of Coquelin.
Ludogorets are on the back of a 3-1 win over OFK Pirin and sit comfortably at the 2nd position in their league table. Their attacking trio of Jonathan Cafu, Wanderson and Marcelinho have enough flair and pace to punish slack defending on the counter.
Arsenal @ 1.012
Draw @ 9.00
Ludogorets Razgard @ 23.00