Can Jack and Samir inspire Arsenal to win in Ukraine?

By Graham McNorthbank

Arsenal flew east to Ukraine on Monday without Cesc Fabregas, Abou Diaby, Andrey Arshavin, Alex Song and Denilson in the travelling party, meaning we could see an experimental midfield this evening.

Arsene Wenger says he is determined to secure qualification for the knock out stages of the Champions League by maintaining the Gunners' 100% record in this year's competition and bringing all three points back home to London.

Thankfully Le Prof will be able to call on the services of two of our most improved players this season to inspire his team - the excellent Samir Nasri and teenage sensation Jack Wilshere, who has been missing domestically because of his three match ban for serious foul play.

Other players drafted in to the squad include Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Henri Lansbury and Craig Eastmond and I reckon the latter might be handed a holding midfielder role allongside Wilshere in the centre, with Tomas Rosicky or Samir Nasri perhaps given the roving task ahead of them.

In goal it's almost certain we'll see Lukasz Fabianski unless Wojciech Szczesny has managed to convice the coaches otherwise in training.

Luckily we shouldn't see too many changes at the back with Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Sebastien Squillaci and Gael Clichy fit to resume their duties.

I'd like to see a midfield three of Jack, Eastmond and Nasri, but I think we're more likely to see Emmanuel Eboue in there, so perhaps Jack will be allowed the freedom of the park with Eboue and Eastmond behind him and the trio of Samir Nasri, Theo Walcott and Marouane Chamakh up front, with the Moroccan enjoying an excellent record in European competition.

That would leave Arsene the luxury of having the likes of JET, Lansbury, Carlos Vela, Nicklas Bendtner, Johan Djourou and Rosicky as options on the bench.

With so many first team regulars sidelined, normally I'd be worried about our chances this evening, but I genuinely believe our squad has developed this season and putting out a team along the lines of the following is hardly a sign of desperation:


Sagna Koscielny Squillaci Clichy

          Eboue Eastmond


   Walcott                  Nasri