AZ Alkmaar Vs Arsenal Champions League Team News & Prediction Thread

In form Gunners make short trip to face ailing Dutch side AZ.

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Football - Manchester United v Arsenal UEFA Champions League Semi Final First Leg

Arsenal are without Czech star Tomas Rosicky (knee) and striker Theo Walcott for the Champions League visit to AZ.
However, full-back Gael Clichy has shaken off an ankle problem for the Group H clash in the Netherlands after missing the win over Birmingham.
Samir Nasri (broken leg) and goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski (knee) continue their rehabilitation with the reserves.
Nicklas Bendtner and Eduardo (both groin), Denilson (back) and centre-half Johan Djourou (knee) remain sidelined.
Manuel Almunia has recovered from illness but was kept out of the side by Vito Mannone in the 3-1 win over the Blues on Saturday and may miss out again.

The Gunners are looking to extend their 100% record in Group H following victories over Olympiakos and Standard Liege.
They sit on top of the group, leading Greek side Olympiakos by three points.
Manager Arsene Wenger was rocked with the news on Monday that Walcott had been ruled out for up to four weeks after damaging medial knee ligaments.
Although midfielder Rosicky was ruled out of Tuesday’s game with a knee problem, Wenger expects him to be fit in “a few days”.
The French boss expressed his long-term optimism for his young side and thinks they will peak in 2010, four years after he guided Thierry Henry’s experienced Gunners to the Champions League final against Barcelona.

Dutch side AZ, coached by legend Ronald Koeman, are at the bottom of the table having drawn and lost their two matches, but they still boast an impressive record of just one home defeat in 34 European ties.
Arsenal (from): Mannone, Clichy, Gallas, Vermaelen, Sagna, Eboue, Song, Fabregas, Diaby, Arshavin, van Persie, Almunia, Vela, Gibbs, Silvestre, Merida, Wilshere, Ramsey. (BBC Sport)

We are in tremendous form right now and feel we can take on the world and whilst we should have far too much for last season’s Eredivisie champions I can only hope Arsene has firmly hit it home that complacency, such as that shown when we went two goals down at Liege, could be costly.

Incredibly AZ have lost more games already this season than they did in the whole of last term and Ronald Koeman is just about hanging onto his job. We are of course without a number of our top names but hopefully we have enough to secure the win that will all but guarantee our path to the knock out stages.

My Prediction: 2-0 to Arsenal.

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