Will Arsene have one eye on Citeh showdown tonight?

By Avenell Dave

I've seen lots of positivity ahead of tonight's game against Shaktar Donetsk reminding people that a win tonight will see us through.

Given our lamentable European away form, we have to be winning our home games but tonight will be the sternest test we've had since Barca last season.

Much has been said about the return of Eduardo, the player who could have become the 20 goal a season predator we still lack.

With Carlos Vela failing to make a significant impact as our fourth striker, Dudu's understandable sale last summer left us short of attacking options.

He had to go, in all honesty. He had lost his mojo and even his Shaktar coach says he hasn't recovered from the Martin Taylor tackle entirely.

With RvP a constant crock - will it ever change? - there is so much pressure on Marouane Chamakh and fit-again Nick Bentdner.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Nick start today and both Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott rested until Sunday's match against Man Citeh.

To lose up there - something we've done in the past couple of seasons - would be a massive blow and Cesc and Theo could be vital.

It makes sense to play Jack Wilshere tonight with a three match domestic ban about to begin.

Shaktar haven't conceded in the CL this season and will probably defend deep. The key will be to get an early goal or two and exploit gaps as the visitors chase the game.

We all know how susceptible our defence is to long balls down the middle and with our central defence missing the pair who started the season, we're stretched.

I would like to see Kieran Gibbs given a run out tonight to show what he can do but he has to get the balance right between bombing forward and maintaining his defensive discipline.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Tomas Rosicky and Denilson start too. Little Mozart needs a good game and a goal after something of a drought, while Den might well come in for Nasri to give one of our best performers this season a rest.

It ain't gonna be easy tonight folks, but two more wins should be enough to see us top the group and take it easy for our final Group games. The players will need it.

                Addict XI


Eboue Squillaci Djourou Gibbs

    Song Denilson Wilshere

          Rosicky  Diaby