FC Basel v Arsenal Match Preview

Published 05/12/16

Arsenal head to FC Basel on Tuesday hoping to pip Champions League rivals Paris Saint-Germain to top spot in Group A in order to maximise the chances of a favourable last-16 draw.

Arsene Wenger's Gunners have already secured safe passage to the knockout stages of the competition, but a 2-2 home draw against PSG on matchday five - coupled with a 1-1 draw in the French capital - leaves the Ligue 1 champions top of the group with a superior head-to-head record.

Arsenal could safely better the result of Unai Emery's French giants in their final group games and still finish second, so Wenger will be hoping that Ludogorets Razgrad can do his side a favour.

Finishing top of group A would be a huge boost for Arsenal considering they have been knocked out at the last-16 stage for the last six seasons in a row, but Basel will be no pushovers despite the Swiss side's disappointing Champions League campaign.

TEAM NEWS

Arsene Wenger will have to make another decision regarding his right-back slot after deploying centre-back Gabriel on the flank in the 5-1 Premier League win against West Ham on Saturday.

Mathieu Debuchy is out until at least January with a hamstring problem while Hector Bellerin will likely be unavailable for another two weeks with an ankle problem, meaning Carl Jenkinson could return if Wenger deems the lifelong Gunners fan to have restored his confidence levels after a recent drop in form.

Mohamed Elneny may push for a start after returning from illness as a late substitute at London Stadium, and Wenger will be hoping Olivier Giroud is back soon to ease the pressure on star striker Alexis Sanchez after the Gunners boss admitted the Chilean had a slight back complaint against West Ham.

Santi Cazorla is missing until March due to an Achilles injury, while Chuba Akpom (back), Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck (both knee) are all ruled out until next month.

POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUPS

Arsenal: Ospina; Jenkinson, Mustafi, Koscielny, Gibbs; Coquelin, Xhaka; Ramsey, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Sanchez

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Arsenal's 2-0 home win against Basel back in September was the only previous meeting between the two sides.

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