Arsenal vs PSV It has been a long-awaited moment for Arsenal fans who will now hear the famous Champions League tune ringing around the Emirates Stadium once again. The team’s last match in the competition dates back to the 2016 season when they were knocked out by their familiar foes, Bayern Munich.
Many things have changed since then and the club is heading into the competition in a much more positive environment than before. Mikel Arteta will take charge of his first Champions League game ever after battling long and hard to get the club back into the elites once again.
Fans all around the world will be eager to see how this youthful and yet extremely exciting Arsenal side look under the brightest of lights but I’m sure the players are as excited as the spectators for this one (cue the Rice handling the Champions League ball video in training).
Find someone who looks at you like Declan Rice looks at the Champions League ball pic.twitter.com/rXRJGKxFas
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 19, 2023
Arsenal’s form (all competitions): W W D W W.
PSV’s form (all competitions): W D W W W.
When & Where?
DATE: Wednesday 20 September, 2023.
TIME: 8pm BST
VENUE: Emirates Stadium, London
Referee – Felix Zwayer [GER]
Assistant referees – Eduard Beitinger [GER], Stefan Lupp [GER]
Video Assistant Referee – Marco Fritz [GER]
Assistant Video Assistant Referee – Juan Martínez Munuera [ESP]
Fourth official – Sven Jablonski [GER]
Partey, Martinelli, Timber and Elneny are set to miss out on this one.
Gabriel Martinelli missed training yesterday, following going off against Everton feeling his hamstring. In the pre-game press, Mikel Arteta provided a fresh update on the Brazilian’s fitness, “Yeah, he felt something in his hamstring and we need to do some further tests to see if there’s some big damage or not but he will be out for tomorrow’s game that’s for sure.” Mikel was followed up with a question hinting at the North London Derby just around the corner and Gabriel Martinelli’s availability for it, the gaffer replied: “It’s a possibility we don’t know yet – as I said we need some more tests and then see what happens.”
Thomas Partey sustained a groin injury before the international break and is expected to return somewhere in October.
Speaking about Mo Elneny, the pictures Arsenal released from their training session ahead of the clash, Neny was involved and looking fine. Although he has had a big injury, and Mikel spoke about how it is important for him to build fitness. It remains to be seen whether the Egyptian-Pirlo is fit enough to get involved.
Mauro Junior, Obispo and Oppegard are all likely to miss out for PSV.
After experimenting with Partey as the inverted fullback at the start of the season, Arsenal are back to the old tried and tested. Zinchenko inverts, forming a pivot with the midfield dynamo Declan Rice. Fabio Vieira started the last game in place of Havertz – bringing a much needed creative spark from the left, but Kai can get the nod tonight.
Jesus is more than likely to start after sitting one out against Everton. He remains absolutely essential to Arsenal’s attacking rotations and I expect no different from him this game out.
Trossard is likely to come in for the injured Martineli and he’ll be looking to add to his goal tally from the game against Everton. I expect Arsenal to look fluid in possession, watch out for the passing linkups up top.
PSV won their last league game in thrilling fashion, putting a total of four goals past N.E.C Nijmegen. They remain on a 100% winning record in the league and they’ll look to build on that coming into the Champions League. 13 goals scored and 1 goals conceded in four games in the league should be enough of an indication that PSV are no pushovers.
But Arteta will know from first hand, as Arsenal succumbed to a 2-0 defeat in the Europa League last time they met.
4-2-3-1 is the formation Bosz will likely go with at the Emirates with Bakayoko and Noa Lang looking to cause chaos on the break.
Rice has settled into his Arsenal life extremely well so far. So well that he has a case for being MOTM in every single game they played so far, which speaks enough of the impact he’s had since coming in.
The exciting Dutch forward will be looking to fill the newspaper headlines when the whistle blows at the Emirates as PSV lay their hopes of a tough away victory on their talented forwards.
Arsenal possible starting lineup: Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Rice, Havertz; Saka, Jesus, Trossard.
PSV Eindhoven possible starting lineup: Benitez; Teze, Ramalho, Bella-Kotchap, Dest; Schouten, Veerman; Bakayoko, Saibari, Lozano; De Jong.