Arsenal travel to the Stade de la Mosson for their first match of the Champions League this season. Montpellier, Olivier Giroud’s former club, qualified for the group stages automatically after winning the Ligue 1 last season. Arsenal have been in quite good form recently, hammering a Southampton side 6-1 on Saturday and defeating Liverpool 2-0 a fortnight before.
Arsenal are fully prepared for their Champions League match. Last season, they were knocked out by AC Milan on an aggregate of 4:3. Arsenal did rest Abou Diaby on the weekend who had a little knock, therefore he should be available for the match against the French champions. Arsenal do have a challenging group this season with Schalke 04 and Olympiakos the other two.
Possible starting XI:
Szczesny will continue in goal despite a howler against Southampton. It was a terrible performance by the new Arsenal no.1 on Saturday. Luckily he didn’t have much to do. He will probably be told by Wenger that if you want to play against ManCity next Sunday, you have to be at your best on Tuesday. Otherwise, Mannone is there for me to chose.
The defence might see Koscielny coming in for his first start of the season, giving Per Mertescker a rest. Vermaelen would continue captaining the side with Jenkinson and Gibbs as fullbacks. Arsène Wenger may as well play Santos to give Gibbs a rest.
Diaby might come back to the starting line up in place of Coquelin as Wenger said he didn’t want to take risk on Saturday. Arteta and Santi Cazorla would continue to dominate the midfield. The presence of Santi has brought back the free flowing Arsenal style when Arsenal had Fabregas. We lacked this kind of football last year with Wilshere injured and Cesc And Nasri not Gunners anymore.
Up front, Arsène Wenger will play Olivier Giroud probably alongside Gervinho and Podolski. The German international is the man in form at the moment, linking up nicely and scoring a sublime free kick past Davis on Saturday against Southampton. Giroud might as well open his account against his former club as Podolski did against Cologne.
Arsenal should be able to win this one and get their Champions League campaign off and running.