It’s that time of the week again! RC Lens will host an in-form Arsenal squad that will look to continue their impressive goal-scoring run in the Champions League, after putting four past PSV in their previous game. Lens, on the other hand, drew their last game against Sevilla and will look to secure anything they can in front of their home supporters.
Lens have started their league season poorly and playing on two fronts could mean even more trouble. They currently find themselves in low 15th place with only 2 wins in the league so far. Feeling the mist of Seko Fofana might have something to do with that but their new “big” money signing Eliye Wahi hasn’t acclimatized to the team yet, scoring only one goal so far in the league this season.
Arsenal’s form (all competitions): W W D L L
PSV’s form (all competitions): W W D W W
When & Where?
DATE: Tuesday 3 October, 2023.
TIME: 8pm BST
VENUE: Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens
Referee: Marco Guida (Italy).
Assistant Referee: Filippo Meli (Italy).
Assistant Referee: Giorgio Peretti (Italy).
Fourth Official: Matteo Marchetti (Italy).
Arsenal are almost complete in terms of injuries to the squad, with only Martinelli and Timber not training with the squad currently. Timber will still be out for a while while it’s thought that Martinelli will be available for some minutes against City for the weekend. Trossard and Partey are back training with the squad which is a big boost for Mikel Arteta.
Saka limped off for the weekend but he’s thought to be fine and training normally.
Lens manager, Franck Haise, confirmed in a pre-match press conference that Massaido Haïdara and David Pereira Da Costa will be absent from the match.
Lens’ draw against Sevilla in their opening match demonstrated their resilience and ability to compete at this level. Despite missing some key players, the team displayed a strong defensive performance and managed to secure a valuable point. The performance will undoubtedly boost their confidence going into the match against Arsenal.
If you’re interested in finding a bit more detailed analysis of the way Lens plays, check out this Twitter article from @Ben_Mattinson_ on Twitter down below.
Arsenal Champions League Opponent Analysis: RC Lens
Next up in the Champions League for Arsenal is French side Lens. The data-driven side were one of the most exciting teams to watch last season (one of my personal favourites)
But what can we expect in tomorrow’s game?… pic.twitter.com/nEwra4jnnF
— Ben Mattinson (@Ben_Mattinson_) October 2, 2023
Arsenal on the other hand are very likely to keep the style of play the same, with a few tweaks in personnel. I personally expect Nelson to certainly get a start while some key players could be rested for the weekend clash with City. Vieira is also really likely to start but who will Arteta rest out of Saka and Odegaard? I don’t feel like both will sit this one out.
Tomiyasu is definitely going to be included, impressing in almost any role Arteta gives him so far this season, most recently putting on a display versus Brentford in the Carabao Cup. I expect Jesus to be hauled off early if the game goes to plan for Arsenal.
Ramsdale is another one who should be back among the starters as David Raya has taken the #1 place currently, it seems.
It’s a tricky away game for Arsenal and while I agree there should be plenty of rotation, Arteta should still be careful. I expect at least 4-5 key starters to keep their place in the eleven.
Odegaard was absolutely sensational in the game against Bournemouth, scoring once, assisting another and winning a penalty. A true captain’s performance and he could be in for another big night. Can he add to his goal against PSV?
Facundo Medina was a rock at the back last season, proving vital in Lens’ title charge. He’ll have a tough job defending against Saka/Jesus combos and he’ll have to be perfect to nullify the two. Big game ahead.
Arsenal possible starting lineup: Ramsdale; White, Kiwior, Saliba, Tomiyasu; Jorginho, Odegaard, Vieira; Nelson, Trossard, Nketiah.
Lens possible starting lineup: Samba; Gradit, Danso, Medina; Frankowski, Abdul Samed, Mendy, Machado; Sotoca, Fulgini; Wahi.