Just when you thought Arsenal's defence was tight, centre backs drop out

By Graham McNorthbank

It looks as though Arsene Wenger will be forced to play Alex Song in the centre of defence tomorrow night after it emerged from today's press conference that four out of five first team centre backs will be sidelined tomorrow.

The list of crocks from our first team squad now numbers nine, but in the defensive stakes we will be without Thomas Vermaelen (ankle), Laurent Koscielny (ankle), Johan Djourou (hamstring) and Sebastien Squillaci (calf), meaning our only fully fit centre back will be new boy Per Mertesacker.

All of which means we'll probably see Song partnering the big German at the back, allowing Emmanuel Frimpong to take on the defensive midfield duties. With Abou Diaby (ankle), Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Yossi Benayoun (thigh) missing in midfield, I'd imagine there's not a lot of choice other than Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey, although I wouldn't be surprised to see Tomas Rosicky getting a rare start allowing Ramsey to come off the bench if needed to make an impact late on.

That leaves us with the issue of where the goals are going to come from and with Theo Walcott and Gervinho ruled out, Le Gaffer will hope that somebody else can step up and take some of the heat of Robin van Persie because as good as he is, we can't rely on him for every goal. Question is, who would you choose out of Ju-Young Park, Ryo Miyaichi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Marouane Chamakh and Andrey Arshavin?

To be honest, I reckon Le Boss will opt for his most experienced strikers and will line up RvP with Arshavin and Chamakh. But I for one would love to see a bit more of our new trio of attack minded players, so a combination of Park, Oxlade-Chamberlain and RvP would be fantastic to see.

I have to admit, I don't know much about tomorrow's opposition, and with Wenger still banned from the bench I reckon the starting 11 will be our strongest possible to allow the coaches on the bench the best possible chance of securing all three points.

So, 24 hours ahead of time, here's an early chance to choose your starting line up for the Olympiacos game, as usual using our comments section to argue with any of my selections:

Addict XI


Sagna Mertesacker Song Santos

Ramsey Frimpong Arteta

Park RvP Arshavin