Who is Arsenal’s Top Scorer in the Champions League?

Lovely warm Autumn night, great stadium, very good opponents, a night to look forward to. Win or draw (I never mention a loss) I will enjoy our return to the Champions League, our 19th season in succession.

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Can we get further than the last 16? We haven’t since 2010; if Arsenal are to be taken seriously as a top team then we must reach at least the quarter-final. Can we? Much will depend upon tonight’s result because if we leave Paris with at least a point we are in the box-seat to win the group.

PSG are in poor form (for them) and having lost both Luiz and the Big-Nosed Swede during the summer (how could my favourite player sign for those Northern swine?), they are definitely weakened, especially upfront where Cavan has struggled though PSG have recently spent well over €20m on ex-Barca forward Jese´

But let us not feel too relaxed – PSG remain an Oiler team who have so much money that they paid €22m to get rid of a manager – that is a Perez! PSG have only lost one of their last twenty home games in the CL and have reached the quarter finals in the last 5 seasons.

Here’s a question. Without googling, do you know who is Arsenal’s top scorer in the Champions League? Have a guess but no cheating.

As to Arsenal, the knowledge that Kos is recovered and will start is a huge fillip – the man has developed into a cornerstone of the team; who would have thought so when Vermælen was our defensive pivot?

The defence picks itself but in midfield we have so many combinations – given that Santi played 90 minutes on Saturday I expect him to be riding the pine. My guess is that Xhaka and Elneny will start with the intention of protecting the back 4 in an away fixture.

Giroud is certain to return but a poor performance could see him behind Perez as our main striker. Many are concerned about OG’s inability to become a clinical finisher but he is the best we have. Perez may well prove to be the player we need but on the evidence of Saturday he has a settling-in period to go through.

My Team: (BTW I know we do not play 4-3-3)

Cech

Bellerin    Mustafa    Koscielny     Monreal

Xhaka     Elneny    Sanchez

Walcott   Giroud    Ozil

This team may be a little too attack-miinded for AW, we may see Theo dropped to make way for Ox or Iwobi who are better defensively.

Can we win? As always my answer is, Why not? Arsene has pointed to the mix of age and experience in the squad. Almost all our players are used to high pressure CL games and this must have a positive effect. Let’s hope so.

COYRRG

 

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129 Responses to Who is Arsenal’s Top Scorer in the Champions League?

  1. RC78 says:

    PSG is in shambles at the moment and the Paris team is finding hard to change systems, game plan and definitely hard to defend as a block…This is the weakest I have seen this team since January 2013…If Arsenal are to win in Paris, there is no better time as confidence is low and the team is also weakned by injuries.

    PSG is rumoured to put this line-up: 4 – 3 – 3
    Trapp – Aurier, TS, Markiki, Maxwell – Rabiot, Krychowiak, Verratti – Di Maria, Cavani, Matuidi

    However, I expect: 4-3-2-1
    Trapp – Autier, TS, Markiki, Maxwell – Rabiot, Krychowiak, Matuidi – Di Maria, Verratti – Cavani

    Slight tactical difference but big impact as Di Maria and Verratti will play more centrally and will look to find space between midfield and defense.

  2. Big Raddy says:

    RC78. That looks like a very strong team.

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    Theo?

    Thanks Erik. I’m very ready for this, and your excellent pm sets the scene very nicely

    Thanks RC for local knowledge

  4. LB says:

    Yah, a BR pre-match, good stuff. When it comes to guessing AW’s team selection I usually find myself slightly differing from yourself but today I completely agree. Theo should rightly start but if he is not cutting it then Iwobi is ready and waiting in the wings. Can’t see the Ox making an appearance.

    I also agree that that PSG team looks strong…………….

    Hopefully we will catch them on a bad day but if that team has a good day hmmmm. Still I suppose they will think the same about us.

    All good stuff though looking forward to the match.

  5. mickydidit89 says:

    Erik

    They look strong on paper, but if their manager is a berk, chaos can ensue.

    Having said that, I just googled my old favourite Mr Caravani, and it appears there’s a bit of a hoo haa going on with new signing Jese as to who plays striker

  6. mickydidit89 says:

    Are we all assuming Ollie will start ahead of Perez?

  7. VP of Oz says:

    This is how I see it playing out –
    Arsenal beat PSG and in fact go on to win the CL in 2017.
    Arsenal do not lose another game in the EPL and win the title in 2017 and after also winning the FA Cup, Wenger completes a historic treble.
    PSG then make Wenger a 4th and final offer for Wenger to coach them, an offer he cannot and does not refuse this time.
    Wenger out brigade bid good riddance to him and blame his poor coaching abilities for losing that all important first game of the season against Liverpool.

  8. RA says:

    Nice one, Giant Raddish.

    I like the team-ish, with a couple of positional changes and one player change.

    Bring Santi into midfield instead of Sanchez, and move Sanchez to the left attack, and drop Theo to the bench (he defends like the proverbial sieve – not good for European football).

  9. RA says:

    VP,

    Are you another Mystic Meg acolyte?

    Can you give me my lottery numbers while you are at it? 🙂

  10. fred1266 says:

    Anyone here attending the game

  11. VP of Oz says:

    RA, I did predict the Greizmann to Arsenal transfer so I think I am mystically qualified.

  12. VP of Oz says:

    RA, I love the word acolyte. I was at our local parish church this morning helping out so yes that would make me an acolyte. The fact you tuned into that is amazing and quite mystical in itself.

  13. RA says:

    I am well known for talking bollix, VP, so that’s a first for me. 🙂

    Perhaps I can claim to be the AA Cassandra! — Woe, Woe, Is me I don’t have rhythm, I don’t have music, I don’t got sweet dreams — now who could ask for anything more?? 😀

    See what I mean VP?

  14. RA says:

    Actually, VP, I wasn’t going to say this – Chas is the man for precision – but if forecasting Greisman to Arsenal is the zenith of your Mystic Meg success – can I ask you – “how did that go?” 😀

  15. VP of Oz says:

    RA, my forecasting success is as good as my last lottery win which I am still waiting on. It doesn’t help when I don’t buy a lottery ticket but that’s inconsequential.
    I can’t believe you’ve got me looking up words like acolyte, googling mystic meg and now AA Cassandra.
    I’m off to bed, PSG kick-off is at 4:45am…

  16. chas says:

    Cheers, Radster.
    Should be an interesting night in Paris.
    Let’s hope we come away with something.

  17. chas says:

    The four greatest benches in football history…………

  18. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha Raddy, very funny sticking Theo in the squad, you thought we wouldn’t notice 🙂 Nice try Raddy

    Good post, well balanced and honest. Yes, if we want to be listed as one of the biggest clubs we have to go further in the CL. preferably all the way to the top.

    Please don’t tell me that Walcott is our top scorer in the CL it has to be TH14 or the Dutch Judas

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    Liked Nic

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Raddinski,

    Not so sure whether the wonderful Giroud will start tonight. I reckon it will be Alexis as CF with Theo on the right and either Iwobi or the new LK09 on the left. Ozil, Xhaka and Elneny to rule the midfield and Ollie to come on late to score a glorious winner.

  21. mickydidit89 says:

    TA
    That would be an interesting line up, altho I reckon LK would go central simply because Sanchez cannot help his workrate and would come too deep.
    Still, love to see it

  22. LBG says:

    Cheers Raddy
    Find all the team speculation strange in no one feels Perez and Giroud could/ should play together
    Cech
    Bellerin Mustafi Kos Montreal
    Xhaka
    Elneny. Sanchez
    Ozil
    Giroud. Perez

    This would be my line up. No TW anymore or the Ox. Wobi and other youngsters for attack substitutions and the French destroyer for defensive ones. RAmsey I’m afraid only gets a game in Ozil’s position as sub or if the genius is injured ( nowhere else!)

  23. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the PM Raddy, I think the game will be won or lost by our tactics. We should remember that a draw would be a decent result. We should set up to hit them on the break which means ideally we’d have Theo and Perez playing – but then the defence would suffer – so maybe those two will come on after 70 minutes when PSG are tiring

    I fancy AW will start with Giroud in this formation:
    Cech
    Bellerin, Mustafi, Koz, Nacho
    Xhaka Cazorla
    Iwobi, Ozil, Sanchez
    Giroud

  24. chas mobile says:

    Are you off to a bar to watch it, LBG?

  25. chas says:

  26. LB says:

    That is a very attacking team Rasp…………I like it.

  27. RA says:

    Rumours are that Giro will be on the bench!

    Perez or Sanchez at CF??

  28. Big Raddy says:

    Anything better than a rumour?

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Micky, I feel that Wenger is opting for Alexis to be his first CF this season, with Perez as a like for like back up, and Ollie the alternative for certain games. Well that is my theory anyway. Perez could start on the wing ala Vardy, with either Theo or Iwobi, or sigh das Ox, on the other wing.

    Alexis coming deep regularly is fine as it will allow the wingers to fill the gap and have a go at CFing themselves.

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Arsenal Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Cazorla, Coquelin, Iwobi, Ozil, Ox, Alexis

    Subs Cech, Holding, Gibbs, Xhaka, Elneny, Lucas, Giroud

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    There you go, Alexis CF, Ox and Iwobi on the wings, Ozil in hole, and same DM pivot as against the Saints. Wow!

  32. LB says:

    Well I never.

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    Bloody hell. The Ox surprises me and omission of Xhaka staggers and saddens. Happy to see Iwobi 🙂

    Great shout TA on Sanchez

  34. Big Raddy says:

    TA as you say,Wow. I have to say that I am hugely surprised- Ospina for Cech? I understand that Ospina is an International who needs play time but to play him away to the best team in our group???

    Theo not even on the bench?

    No proper CF?

    Ox who is in terrible form alongside the inexperienced Iwobi?

    And Coquelin instead of Xhaka?

    We shall see but the knives will be out if we take a pasting.

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas
    Some very true sayings about Devon there

  36. LB says:

    Walcott has a knee problem

  37. mickydidit89 says:

    Shit, I didn’t notice Ospina in for Cech

    There was me thinking AW had saved the big guns like Xhaka and Elneny for tonight. I quit armchair management. Pay is crap anyway 🙂

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    I have been told by a PSG in the know person that they now play deep and on the counter. It looks like we are going to press them high and run at them like no tomorrow. Ox and Iwobi and Alexis to hound them down and Ozil and Santi to find the killer pass?

  39. LB says:

    Just when you think you have got Wenger worked out he picks that side…………

  40. Big Raddy says:

    “pay is crap anyway” 😀

  41. Big Raddy says:

    LB. In Arsene we trust ???

  42. LB says:

    Hmmmmm, I suppose so.

  43. LB says:

    Either that or he has got one hell of a sense of humour.

  44. Rasp says:

    WTF!!!! No Xhaka and Ospina in goal and Oxo who started at the weekend and had a stinker. All my positivity has evaporated, Arsene has learnt nothing from his previous mistakes

  45. B*ll*cks!!!!!!! No Xhaka?????

  46. LB says:

    It’s not that bad at all Ospina is a very good goal keeper; we have the best back four we could have; Coquelin and Cazorla are very good, Ozil has to play as does Sanchez; Walcott is injured so Iwobi makes sense and Oxlaide-Chamberlain must have some very personal pictures of AW who needs to keep them hush, hush.It all makes sense now.

  47. Rasp says:

    He’s taking a ludicrous and totally unnecessary risk. For a long time I’ve suspected he fantasises how a game will pan out and somehow that becomes his reality

  48. Thanks for the pre-match Raddy, all my excited anticipation just vanished into thin air.

  49. Why can’t we just play our best team?????

  50. LB says:

    Nothing like going into a game with a positive frame of mind 🙂

  51. LB you are hilarious 🙂

  52. Rasp says:

    Ospina has not had match time at the top level, he cost us a CL game last season – I wonder if there is any truth to the suggestion that there are contractual reasons?

  53. LB says:

    Best team? Now where would be the fun in that? And what’s more we would all start putting on weight as there would be nothing to worry about. I am on the Arsene Wenger diet.

    Right I am off to the pub because BT effed up.

  54. Rasp says:

    However good Ospina is, he is our 2nd choice keeper – so why play him in such an important game? Every time I think Arsene has changed his ways – he proves me wrong

  55. ……..and I’ve had such a lovely day, got taken to lunch at Babylon in Kensington for a very belated birthday present. The Roof Gardens are amazing and well worth a trip, saw flamingos and ducks on the sixth floor of a central London building.

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    Come on you Gunnnnnners

  57. Rasp says:

    Bloody brilliant, well done Arsene

  58. Big Raddy says:

    That’s a fine start

  59. fred1266 says:

    This is going to be a long 2 hours

  60. Big Raddy says:

    I thought RC said PSG are crap- they look a very, very good team

  61. Big Raddy says:

    We are being over-run in midfield. Either Iwobi and OX have to get deeper or Xhaka needs to come on

  62. Rasp says:

    Alexis is not a centre forward. We have too many players out wide and not enough in the danger area. Giroud would give us a better option up front

  63. Big Raddy says:

    Phew. Thank goodness we didn’t sign Cavan!

    We desperately need to get a man on the pitch who can hold the ball for a few seconds. All this one touch passing is playing into PSG’s hands as our accuracy is simply not good enough. Ozil needs to get a grip, so does Sanchez.

    Iwobi is out of his depth, Ox should not be on the pitch and Monreal is being roasted by Aurier.

    Apart from that we are doing well.

  64. Eddie says:

    go on then Chas, call me a doomer again and I will hit you
    I hate Wenger
    How dare he do this to us again?? Our only chance of progressing to semis is winning the group. But no, Ospina in goal

  65. Eddie says:

    Raddy – I think we had 4 attempts on goal, nil on target. Does it ring a bell?

  66. mickydidit89 says:

    “Apart from that we are doing well” 🙂

    Thank God Caravani is shit and I’m not in charge of transfers 🙂

    Tell you what, I’m still enjoying this. Far rather watch us play teams like this than Watford

    Come on, few changes, and a few goals. Why not? 🙂

  67. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh, and what the hell is wrong with the PSG manager?
    Drugs?

  68. mickydidit89 says:

    Same XI
    Cosmic

  69. Rasp says:

    Haha, the pundits are surprised we haven’t made any changes at half time – haven’t they been watching Arsene’s teams over the last 20 years. Wait until 70-73 minutes

  70. Rasp says:

    I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve had a player in a position to put in s cross and not a single player attacking the box. Just exactly what is our game plan?

  71. Eddie says:

    micky – I swear I was thinking the same, the geezer is as high as kite. Did you see him with his back to the pitch talking and gesticulating with the bench?? Odd

  72. Big Raddy says:

    This is better but I still want to see OG on for Iwobi or Ox

  73. Big Raddy says:

    Bloody hell. PSG only lost once at home in 17 months.

    Fancy our chances?

  74. LBG says:

    Given you picked the wrong team from the start AW, put someone on to sit on Airier who is running the game!

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    Even I’d bring on Ollie now

    And, I’ve changed my mind, I’m taking up armchair management again

  76. Rasp says:

    At last, we have a CF on the pitch

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    yesssssssssssssssss

  78. Rasp says:

    Great goal, I have to say Ospina had been superb

  79. Eddie says:

    first attempt on goal 🙂

    OSPINA has been massive!!!!! Sorry David for ever doubting you

  80. mickydidit89 says:

    he he he Ospinnaaaaaaa

  81. Rasp says:

    Now concentrate boys, a draw is a good result

  82. fred1266 says:

    Yea ospina really kept us in, but our defending was poor

  83. mickydidit89 says:

    Can you hear the frenchies sing
    noo nooo
    Can you hear the frenchies sing
    I can’t hear……well anything at all actually

    ROLF

  84. Eddie says:

    Ospina is wasting time, cheat

    We deserve a draw. They had much better attacking force, but we showed more desire

  85. Eddie says:

    what did Giroud do????!!!!

  86. Rasp says:

    He got a stupid yellow for dissent Eddie and then s second for blocking

  87. mickydidit89 says:

    Excellent
    Really enjoyed that

  88. Big Raddy says:

    Ospina our MotM. Superb performance.

    Fine second half performance and we could have won it with better finishing.

    Cazorla once again the best MF on the pitch. Good to see Verrati sent off but OG was just stupid

  89. mickydidit89 says:

    Erik
    In fairness, they might make the same case about better finishing, still, what the heck, great point

  90. Ant says:

    Hee hee Ospina a mistake! Hee hee…Should have played Giroud.
    Hee hee.. Sanchez is not a striker.
    A draw sets us up fine, especially with the draw in Basel..happy days
    Micky gets my vote for best armchair manager, apart from his Cavani fetish!

  91. Ant says:

  92. Ant says:

  93. fred1266 says:

    Clearly we should be kept Campbell and send Ox on loan

  94. Big Raddy says:

    Surprised that Celtic lost.

  95. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha Erik
    Looks like they came close
    Just the 7-0 🙂

  96. LB says:

    Yeah, me too I had that down as an away win.

  97. mickydidit89 says:

    ’till dawn

  98. IanRealGunner says:

    Ollie seems to have these games in Europe – what was going through his mind? He did this last year in the opening game as well. I think the ref was right to send him off as he had been trying his patience as soon as he came on

  99. LB says:

    If no one else volunteers to write something I may be able to cobble something together. Let me know?

  100. LBG says:

    They will miss Verratti more than we will miss the lumbering oil tanker!
    Aurier definitive MOTM
    Would have taken a battling draw anytime!
    Despite in my opinion picking significantly the wrong team, PSG were much better all round for most of the game. That’s football!

  101. LB – it would be super if you could write something. Thank you

  102. mickydidit89 says:

    I won’t comment on last night as LB is cobbling away, like when the pixies come at night to make the little shoes

  103. mickydidit89 says:

    or were they elves and the shoes big, just the midgets little?

  104. chas says:

    This reminded me of Cavani last night.
    Thank Dennis for that. 🙂

  105. chas says:

    The ref was right to send Giroud off because he’d been trying his patience all night.
    Hahahahahahahahaha

  106. Eddie says:

    LB – I’d love to read your match report, as usual, providing you do not give Ox 8 for performance

  107. Eddie says:

    monkeys are cute, bastards are not 🙂

    Did Theo play last night? I did watch the game, but it wouldn’t be the first time that he was on the pitch but made himself invisable

  108. Big Raddy says:

    719 & .21 😀 😀 chas is on fine form

  109. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. No – Theo did not play.:-)

    Like others I will await LB’s post but I went to bed a happy man, safe in the knowledge that for the past week the football gods (I would say Luck but it would start a long discussion) are looking favourably upon The Arsenal.

  110. Eddie says:

    Raddy 🙂 I thought as much, but you never know with Walcott

    I had really bad night; my sleeping partner was ill and kept waking me up chocking, snoring, licking his paws obsessively, just a nightmare. But I was too pleased with the result to mind. It was a huge point and well deserved

  111. fred1266 says:

    Why everyone talking about giroud getting send of did I miss something

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