Arsenal v Anderlecht: Champions League
Arsenal v Anderlecht tonight with gooners boss Arsene Wenger without Jack Wilshere when they host the Belgian champions night.
The 22-year-old was expected to return to the Gunners side for the Champions League clash at the Emirates, having missed the club’s last two games with a knee injury.
However the playmaker has been suffering with illness over the last few days and Wenger has ruled the England international out of the encounter with Anderlecht, which if Arsenal win and Borussia Dortmund defeat Galatasaray, will see the Gunners through to the knockout stages.
The Gunners boss, who saw his side come from behind to win 2-1 against Anderlecht in their last meeting in Belgium, knows his side are on form at present and hopes they can take their chance on Tuesday night.
Wenger said: “But of course we play at home and we have an opportunity to win the game and we want to take this opportunity. We are on a good run and we want to take advantage of that.
“We respect Anderlecht because they gave us a tough game and we had a little bit of a miraculous win, because we needed to go until the last minute. But that was, as well, our quality in this game.
“We are warned. We have learned a lot from the first game and, of course, now at the Emirates we want to win the game again.”
In Walcott and Giroud’s absence, much of the goal-scoring burden has fallen on Alexis Sanchez, who signed from Barcelona for £35m in the summer.
The Chile international, who failed to find the net in his first four games, has scored 10 goals in 12 games since, including two in the 3-0 home win over Burnley at the weekend.
“I believe he had a difficult start to integrate with the team – it was not easy for him to adapt to us and us to him,” Wenger said.
“Now he is showing how good he is. I believe what you want from every top player is not just individual quality but also a fighter.”
Anderlecht have conceded in 11 successive Champions League games, letting in 28 (2.5 a game)
Arsenal haven’t been too prolific this season, often limiting themselves to one or two goals a match, yet showed greater ambition in their last Champions League tie at the Emirates with a 4-1 victory over Galatasaray.
Anderlecht meanwhile leaked three times at home to Borussia Dortmund, and twice in the space of two minutes against the Gunners.
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