After a defeat a quick turnaround is always good, and the visit of Leicester City is a fantastic opportunity to banish the disappointment from the weekend.
Having a midweek fixture straight after a loss could go either way, but it offers an immediate chance to respond, rather than time to dwell on a defeat.
The loss in Saturday’s North London derby was our first since the visit to Southampton on New Year’s Day, and only our second since the beginning of December.
At such a busy period it’ll be important to react quickly – the FA Cup is back at the weekend and we are just two weeks away from our first leg against Monaco. In between we still have some ground to make up to ensure we finish in the top four.
A response is expected on Tuesday night; Wenger hit the nail on the head during Monday’s press conference:
“We had a very strong run just before Saturday.
“We just want to continue that and respond very strongly to the disappointment.”
The only one difference to the weekend should be a significant one as Alexis Sánchez is once again available.
Danny Welbeck’s start against Tottenham was his first game since December, so it would be no shock to see him drop to the bench. Theo Walcott will hope to start after missing out at the weekend.
Wenger may see this game as an opportunity to blood Gabriel into the side, especially wary of Laurent Koscielny’s Achilles problem flaring up again.
Possible XI: Ospina; Bellerín, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Monreal; Coquelin; Alexis, Ramsey, Cazorla, Özil; Giroud.
Leicester weren’t without headlines of their own over the weekend as manager Nigel Pearson appeared to put his hand around the throat of Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur, before pulling his shirt. Odd.
Reports on Sunday then emerged that Pearson had been sacked. They were inaccurate and he will be in charge at The Emirates. I’d like to see him try and get to grips with Alexis if he happens to be on the wing on Tuesday night.
On the pitch Leicester aren’t having much more luck.
They’ve lost their last three league games (to Stoke, Manchester United, Crystal Palace) and find themselves bottom of the Premier League.
Leicester have managed just seven points on their travels this season – only QPR (0) have fewer – and have only managed eight goals in twelve away games.
Between the end of September and the end of December they went on a run of 13 without a win (including 11 defeats) though a slight up turn of form in 2015 means they should have everything to fight for as the end of the season approaches.
Possible XI: Schwarzer; Simpson, Morgan, Wasilewski, De Laet; Mahrez, Cambiasso, James, Schlupp; Kramarić, Ulloa.
Back on Track
First things first – Arsenal simply have to win this one.
A good performance would be nice, but nothing we haven’t seen before. All three points are needed.
As we often see with Arsenal home games, an early goal could open this up. Leicester could do with the points and I don’t think they’d adopt an approach of damage limitation if they were to go behind.
Pearson’s organised 4-4-2 may be difficult to break down but we should have more than enough quality to deal with that.
If we’re inhibited by the weekend’s result the game could be a little more cagey, and it wouldn’t be a complete shock to see us a little apprehensive.
Wenger has called for “complete focus” from his side in order to get back on track.
Any less than that and we will have a real fight on our hands.