Substitutes are: Shea, Koscielny, Santos, Coquelin, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott.
Arsene Wenger has the utmost faith in his assistant manager Steve Bould’s ability to look after the first team during their Champions League tie with Montpellier as he will watch the game from the stands by serving the first game of a three match ban; a consequence from his criticism of match officials after their 3-0 win over AC Milan in March. He says that Steve is ‘very experienced’ and should be able to manage affairs in the dug-out without any trouble.
Arsenal should not expect a simple task against Montpellier however as their manager Rene Girard has told his fans to turn the stadium into ‘hell’ ahead of the Premier League sides visits. The southern cities fans are known for being vociferous and intimidating and after a poor start to the season he sees the ‘12th man’ being an absolutely essential tool in the task of uprooting The Gunners in their first ever Champions League game.
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Fernando Llorente has been linked with a January move to The Emirates after admitting his admiration for their free-flowing football. The Bilbao man scored his first goal of the campaign this weekend for the Basque side but the Spanish international’s contract runs out at the end of the season leaving him free to discuss a deal with potential suitors in the New Year. Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Juventus are also being heavily linked with a move for the marksman who looks set to end his 16-year-stay at the San Mames.
Theo Walcott's future is again in doubt after Arsene Wenger admitted he risks being frozen out of the Arsenal first-team if he continues to stall over a new contract. Walcott is reportedly unhappy at the salary currently being offered to him at The Emirates feeling he should be one of the highest paid players in the squad considering his comparable seniority with six years in North London behind him. Wenger has set a deadline of next April for the England international to decide on his future amidst rumoured interest from Liverpool, Juventus and bizarrely Spartak Moscow.
And finally, Arsenal will use tonight’s game as an effective scouting mission on French defender Mapou Yanga M’Biwa who they have been consistently linked with over the summer. The talented centre-half was a vital member of the French sides shock Ligue 1 triumph last season and the pairing of Arsenal with the southern France side is a convenient coincidence for The Gunners.
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