Arsenal travel to play Ludogorets this evening, and the word is that they will play a rotated team featuring out of favour senior players like Olivier Giroud.
Giroud hasn’t started a game yet this season, despite making multiple appearances off the bench. His absence through injury over the first part of the season forced Arsene Wenger into playing a “strikerless” front three, which has served the Gunners well so far. It’s worked well, but it hasn’t been flawless. In the recent 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough they lacked the kind of physical presence Giroud could bring to their front line. Then Giroud scored twice coming off the bench last weekend against Sunderland to remind his manager what he can do.
The French striker would have to do exceptionally well tonight to force his way into contention for a start in Sunday’s North London Derby against Tottenham. But an effective performance combined with a good showing off the bench this weekend will force his manager into seriously considering a return to a system that has Giroud as its focal point.