Arsenal’s early season form has been average to put it mildly.
But they are, at least, in a similar position to many of the contenders, with only Manchester City having started the season in convincing fashion.
Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham have all suffered poor reverses and the time to kick on is now.
The Stoke win was vital but the poor result in The Champions League has once more staggered the momentum in what is turning out to be a strange season in general.
As with many of the other top teams, goals have been hard to come by and we think that Theo Walcott should get his chance up top from the start in this one.
Travelling to the champions, whatever form The Gunners find them in, won’t be easy and Walcott’s pace could be key.
He may not be quite as good a finisher as Giroud but he can speed up play and break the offside trap with that raw pace.
With Sanchez and The Ox either side it would have to be the paciest front line in the division this weekend.
With Wilshere, Rosicky and Welbeck the only current casualties, Arsenal have a wealth of talent to pick from in midfield and a big player will miss out.
We are going with Coquelin and Ramsey in the engine room and Cazorla at number ten – Ozil would be the popular choice with many Gunners fans in the hole.
But even the most ardent Ozil fans would have to admit that he is regularly quiet against the big boys. If he does play, we are almost certain that we will be moaning about him afterwards.
So here is our best XI for the Arsenal’s toughest fixture of the season so far.