Arsene Wenger faces a dilemma ahead of Arsenal vs Ludogrets

Gunners boss cannot afford to make a mistake if he decides to rotate his squad for Champions League encounter

(Image credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Arsenal face Ludogrets in the Champions League tonight and although the game looks straightforward on paper it presents manager Arsene Wenger with something of a headache, says the Daily Telegraph.

It's a game that Gunners need to win, as Ludogrets are the whipping boys of Group A, but Wenger will also be keen to rest some of his key players ahead of the Premier League clash with Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Last season the Arsenal boss was blamed for almost blowing Arsenal's Champions League hopes by fielding weakened teams that lost to Dynamo Zagreb and Olympiakos in the group stages. Later in the campaign he came under fire for refusing to rest Alexis Sanchez, who then picked up an injury against Norwich, which compromised the Gunners' title push.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Squad rotation is "a question of balance, and it's something Wenger has not got right over the past few years", says Charlie Eccleshare of the Daily Telegraph.

"This season there is really no excuse to overburden his players, with Arsenal boasting their strongest squad in the Wenger era."

But having started with only 12 players in Arsenal's last four games Wenger faces a dilemma ahead of the clash at the Emirates. "Does he play the same team again and risk overloading the likes of [Alexis] Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott or does he freshen things up and risk losing the momentum generated by six straight wins?"

Getting it right is vitally important, as without silverware this season the Gunners could struggle to retain the services of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, who are set for contract negotiations.

Arsenal must convince the duo that the club "can challenge for silverware if contract negotiations are to conclude with the pair signing long-term deals", says The Guardian.

Wenger admitted as much when he said that "whether the club can meet their needs on the football front" was more important than a player's salary.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.