Picking an Arsenal side to face Monaco

Arsenal are in Monaco this evening, looking to overcome a 1-3 from deficit from the first-leg of this tie.

That’s an awkward score, because it’s not a pronounced enough deficit to demand a desperate, attack-at-all-costs approach, but time is a factor and Arsenal will have to score three times at least.

So Arsene Wenger needs a balance:

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- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere are both injured, whilst Tomas Rosicky and Gabriel Paulista are doubts.  Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby and Mathieu Debuchy are all long-term absentees, obviously.

- Monaco have had an extra twenty-four hours’ rest, having played - and beaten - Bastia in Ligue 1 on Friday night.

- Had this match been last week, that team would look very different, but given what happened on Saturday against West Ham, why would Wenger not persevere with the same group of players - at least the front-five.  Monaco may be a superior side and the challenge may be greater tonight, but think about how much that forward unit created at the weekend.  Ok, so they weren’t particularly economic, but Olivier Giroud is in very good form, Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey are always capable of finding the net, so Theo Walcott’s profligacy can probably be tolerated for the sake of his dynamism - especially so given the natural chemistry those five seem to have.

- Kieran Gibbs is the only other change.  Nacho Monreal isn’t a bad full-back, but he’s an inferior defender and - if Arsenal are going to have to attack this game - somewhere within this formation there needs to be a deference to security.

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