Fringe player to step up in Switzerland
The Gunners won all five of their opening encounters before a 3-1 defeat at Manchester United on Sunday, but the start will have built optimism amongst the supporter base and fuelled belief that Mikel Arteta’s men can deliver Champions League football through their efforts this season.
Zurich have reached the group stage the hard way after comfortably winning the Swiss Super League last season, but they come into this encounter in no form at all.
It will be interesting to monitor how much Arteta rotates his squad, with the impressive start to the campaign potentially suggesting he will further prioritise the league.
Zurich have started their title defence very poorly, drawing two and losing five of their opening seven league games and giving themselves a mountain to climb ahead of hosting the North Londoners.
Key players like Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus may well be given a rest in this trip with particularly the latter feeling hugely significant in their pursuit of a top four finish in the top-flight.
Chelsea’s stuttering start under Thomas Tuchel has seen Arsenal race into a very advantageous position, in their sixth campaign since last playing Champions League football.
This feels like a game for backup striker Eddie Nketiah, who signed a new long term contract with Arsenal in the summer.
The 23-year-old scored three goals in the competition in 2020/21, and has looked sharp in some substitute appearances so far this season.
With Jesus likely to be wrapped up in cotton wool and potentially saved for the knockout stages, Nketiah should definitely be pushing for a start.
PSV and Bodo/Glimt make up Group A, it feels unlikely that Arsenal have any problems with it and this could be Nketiah’s chance to show Arteta that he deserves more minutes in the league.
Overs may be an option but given how heavy Arsenal are favourites it is a struggle to find value.
A rare goalscorer pick excites me the most.
Zurich have scored in eight of ten.
Zurich have conceded in six of ten.
Zurich have seen both teams score in four of ten.
Zurich have seen over 2.5 goals in six of ten.
Arsenal have scored in six of six.
Arsenal have conceded in four of six.
Arsenal have seen both teams score in four of six.
Arsenal have seen over 2.5 goals in five of six.