Listening to interviews since Tuesday’s debacle, Arsenal seem to still believe that they can snatch third place from Ch*vski this season.
The benefits are enormous – a bye into the Group stages and the avoidance of an open draw against a potentially powerful European rival.
Will Arsenal’s Young Guns have recovered from their disappointment – will the extra day have given them an added advantage against a Ch*vski side who also suffered the shock of semi-final defeat?
Wenger believes that the team will bounce back immediately: “We live in a world where the next day you show that you are strong and ready to fight and go for it or you are in the wrong world. The world we live in demands that kind of strength.”
I hope he’s right.
The absence of Gael Clichy means that Kieran Gibbs is almost certain to start at left back, unless Wenger reverts to playing Manu Eboue on the left as he did against Pompey last week. I hope he retains the youngster.
Elsewhere, I don’t know how the team will differ from Tuesday, with the exception of Andrey Arshavin who is an absolute shoe-in.
No doubt the Russian will show the folly of Wenger’s refusal to start him at Wembley a few weeks ago.
So who would you start against Ch*vski?
Sagna Toure Djourou Gibbs
Nasri Fabregas Song Arshavin
Adebayor van Persie