Schalke are the visitors for Match Day 3 of the Champions League on Wednesday night. Having opened their campaign with an impressive away win against Olympiakos, they were pegged back at home in a 2-2 draw with French champions Montpellier. Arsenal go into the game with maximum points after an away win in France and a home win over Olympiakos.
It’s been 11 years since their paths have crossed, since the 2001-2002 season of the Champions League. Arsenal won the home tie by 3 goals to 1, while Schalke took their home fixture by the same margin. In a very rare coincidence, both clubs are still managed by the same managers, Arsene Wenger and Huub Stevens.
Arsenal: Where do we start? Bacary Sagna and Jack Wilshere moved closer to first-team action, appearing in the U-21′s 2-1 win away at Everton, but the game will come too soon for Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who suffered a minor hip injury in the dismal, shocking, poor & laboured 1-0 defeat against Norwich. (NOPE, NOT OVER IT YET). Throw into the mix goalkeepers Woijech Szczesny & Lukas Fabianski’s injuries, and add a dash of Tomas Rosicky’s absence with a spoonful of doubt over Laurent Koscielny, and we’re served 90 minutes of fright.
Schalke 04: The only thing I could glean from the German tabs today is that there is doubt over Papadopolous’ travelling over for the game, and there seems to be problems with both Draxler and Holtby, which is nice for us.
Arsenal played in that at the weekend, while our visitors secured a famous win in the Signal Iduna Park, home of arch-rivals and champions Borussia Dortmund. Arsenal have won 12 from 22 against German opposition, while Schalke have only won 3 from 11 against English opposition.
Jonas Eriksson from Sweden officiates his first Arsenal game here, but his second Schalke 04 game, having overseen their 3-1 win over Valencia in the round of 16 in 2009.