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One stone for one bird – Arsenal need to prioritise

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Let’s give credit to Bayern Munich. They produced another footballing clinic on the sport’s biggest stage and it would have been difficult to think of any team in the world beating them on Wednesday night. Arsenal just happened to cross the road at the wrong time.

The problem is, though, this devastating defeat has put Arsenal in a conundrum of sorts. The North London outfit have a host of players recovering from injuries and well away from full match fitness. In such a situation, the manager has to choose wisely when and to who he will expose his most important players.

Arsenal are joint top of the Premier League right now, inferior to Manchester City only on goal difference. Unlike other seasons, this season the Gunners look like serious title contenders, but based on their track record they are likely to lose steam by Christmas. Hence, it is crucial that they win as many games as possible during this time of the season if they are to maintain their title challenge. A north London derby against Spurs followed by a visit to the Hawthorns’ to take on a resurgent West Bromwich Albion. These are fixtures that Wenger will be desperate not to lose. If the title challenge must stay alive, these games must be won.

Let’s have a look at their situation in the Champions’ League now. Having already been humbled by Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos, the Gunners were hit hard at the Allianz Arena. That, coupled with Olympiacos’ 2-1 win over Dinamo in Athens, means Arsenal are now six points behind both the Greek side and Bayern in Group F, with just two games to play. Things look bleak here and the best the Gunners are likely to get is a place in the Europa League. Few major Europeans club are interested in that competition.

Thus, Wenger would do well to keep his armoury optimized for the Premier League. An Aaron Ramsey is more likely to thrive in a local derby rather than in a cauldron of hostility in Piraeus.

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