Arsenal face Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday night to kick start their 2015/2016 Champions League campaign on the back of a morale boosting first home win of the season over the weekend.
This represents Wenger’s 18th consecutive Champions League season, an amazing feat under the Frenchman. Even more amazing is the fact that Arsenal have made it out of the group stage in the last 15 consecutive seasons. Are you thinking about betting on this match? It’s easy to place a bet on who will win, we suggest visiting GamblingSites.net to find the best sites for doing so.
But even with those highs, the low is that for the past 5 seasons, Arsenal haven’t gone past the round of 16, mostly due to the fact that they face tougher opponents after finishing second in the group stages.
However, last season’s loss to Monaco proved that it is fast becoming a jinx for the Gunners, and one that the fans are becoming desperate to see broken.
Arsenal now have the personnel to go past the round of 16, at least last season they were handed a relatively easy fixture against Monaco in the Round of 16, but complacency cost them the tie, with a 3-1 loss at home proving a goal too many to overturn in Monaco.
Wenger is keen to avoid such situation this season even against Dinamo Zagreb, with the manager stating on the club’s website: “it is important we go to Zagreb highly focused and conscious at what is at stake there”
“We have Olympiakos and Zagreb first and we have to finish above them and the result will come down to that. I think it is important to start well because the hunger of a team is shown as well in how well you go in every competition.”
Zagreb on their part are coming into the game in the form of their lives, having created the record of the first team to ever go through the entire season unbeaten in the Croatian top division and still haven’t lost a game this season, currently standing at 41 games unbeaten, but it is worth noting that this is their first Champions League appearance in three years and they were eliminated from the group stage of the Europa league last season.
Per Mertesacker is a doubt for this one, he is back in training though after recovering from a virus and a car crash, Jack Wilshere is also out of this one with the club preparing a surgery for him, While Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky continue their rehabilitation from their surgery.
Goncalo Santos is expected to miss the game through a suspension picked up in the qualifying stages
The two sides have met only once with Arsenal defeating Zagreb 3-0 in Croatia and 2-1 in England
Zagreb have lost each of their last 6 games against English opponents.
Wenger has managed 168 games in the Champions League, more than any other manager in the competition currently, and only Alex Ferguson boasts more (190) in history.
Zagreb haven’t lost any of their last 41 League games, going a whole season unbeaten
Ramsey has scored 3 times in his last two Champions League games
Arsenal have not won 4 consecutive Champions league away games since 2006, they have currently won 3 consecutively
Walcott scored a hat trick the last time he played in the Maksimir Stadium
Predicted Arsenal line-up