In his weekly press conference ahead of the away tie at WBA on Saturday at 15:00 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, a proud Frenchman, spoke in depth about the events of last Friday in Paris and paid tribute to the response of the English to the tragedy:
“I want to thank the English community.”
“It showed the class of England. The arch of Wembley in French colours was very significant.”
He talked also about his instinctive feelings on the matter:
“I was not far from the events… To discover how much your own citizens hate you is a big shock.”
“You have to trust politicians to make the right decisions. France is a tolerant society.
“We have to get on with life and respond in a positive way. We have to get people to focus on something else.
One of his key players, Frenchman Laurent Koscielny, was badly affected by the terror attacks and Wenger said:
“You could see he was not himself on Tuesday. It has affected him deeply. He wasn’t the same player. I will talk with him to see if he is completely recovered and focussed. It is a big game for us. If he is not completely committed and feels ready I will not play him.”
Arsene Wenger confirmed, to the joy of many an Arsenal fan, that speedy right back Hector Bellerin will be fit for selection.
But he also stated that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey remain on the sidelines for this one.
And he spoke about the stye of game that he expects to see when Arsenal travel to a defensively sound WBA:
“They are an organised team. Tony Pulis is fully committed. You expect a physical and fast game.”
He’s right there. WBA haven’t been at their best this season but they are decent at the back and Arsenal will have to work hard to create clear cut chances.
With all this in mind, here is our predicted line up:
Prediction: Arsenal tend to perform pretty well against such teams away from home with their rapier counter attacking style regularly paying dividends. This one could easily turn out to be a draw but we are plumping for a 3-1 win to The Gunners.