After unexpectedly qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League in midweek against Olympiakos, Arsenal now returns to the Premier League football to face bottom dwellers Aston Villa this Sunday.
A victory for Arsenal could see them move top of the pile provided other results go their way. The Gunners are expected to prevail against the Villains following the difference in form, but a real motivation for Remi Garde’s side could get them playing at their best which in turn could mean a challenging encounter for the visitors.
With half of the season already passed, Premier League big boys can’t afford any unexpected results. Let us have a look at some of the players that must start on Saturday to help their team secure maximum points against the Villains.
1. Olivier Giroud: Olivier Giroud’s Champions League heroics didn’t go unnoticed by Wenger with the Arsenal boss praising the Frenchman for his hat-trick against Olympiakos that propelled his side to the Round of 16 of Europe’s elite club competition.
Giroud will definitely feature against Aston Villa as he poses the biggest threat going forward for Arsenal this season, having already secured a total of 15 goals in all competitions. He’ll be looking to boost up the numbers against a Villa side he almost always scores against.
2. Mesut Ozil is a ‘must play’ for the game against Villa as he could very well be the difference with a killer pass or dead ball into the 18-yard area like he’s done throughout the season thus far. The German professional is in fine form at the moment, and always adds something special when he plays.
3. Joel Campbell: Another player that should definitely feature is Joel Campbell. The Costa Rica professional has already grabbed the attention of Arsenal fans and neutrals alike after putting in some impressive performance this season. So, he deserves a place in the starting lineup for weekend clash against Aston Villa.
4. Hector Bellerin‘s pace down the flanks will be key for Arsenal as he could quickly start counter attacks and keep an attacking move going as well as performing his defensive duties.
5. Aaron Ramsey should also play in this fixture as he’s been Arsenal’s main midfield man this season. He usually helps feed balls into the attack apart from posting a goal threat from the middle of the park.