Pressure on Arsene Wenger ahead of Arsenal's Champions League date with Schalke
Last Updated: November 6, 2012 8:20am
Arsene Wenger: Another defeat by Schalke would put the Arsenal boss under extra scrutiny
Arsenal could be without Theo Walcott when they take on Schalke with their UEFA Champions League participation in doubt.
If the Gunners lose to Schalke in Germany on Tuesday evening, then Arsene Wenger's side could be on the brink of elimination from the Champions League group stages for the first time in 13 campaigns.
Defeat by the Bundesliga club at Emirates Stadium on Matchday Three saw the Gunners surrender a 45-game unbeaten streak at home to continental opposition and leaves them second in Group B.
Arsenal only trail Schalke by one point but are also just three points ahead of third-placed Olympiakos, who host Montpellier, and it could be set for a tense conclusion to the group.
That is the last thing Wenger, who has now completed the final match of his three-game touchline ban in Europe, needs at a time when his club are under mass scrutiny.
Defeats by Norwich City and Manchester United as well as a much-publicised AGM have surrounded the loss to Schalke and the dramatic 7-5 Capital One Cup win over Reading only really papered over the cracks.
Another setback in the shape of a loss to Huub Stevens' side in Gelsenkirchen would therefore put an immense amount of pressure on Wenger.
Christoph Metzelder suffered an adductor injury on his return from a long-term absence at the end of October and he did not feature in Schalke's weekend defeat at Hoffenheim.
Julian Draxler is in contention to start after recently making his comeback from a broken arm and he was used as a substitute on Saturday.
Lewis Holtby, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal, and reported Liverpool target Klaas-Jan Huntelaar are both expected to be in the first XI.
Walcott will be assessed on Tuesday to see if he is well enough to feature in Arsenal's Champions League clash against Schalke in Germany.
The 23-year-old has been ill overnight and is a doubt for the Group B encounter, which will not see the return of Wojciech Szczesny (ankle) despite the goalkeeper joining in with training on Monday.
Aaron Ramsey misses out after sustaining a groin injury at Manchester United and is joined on the sidelines by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hip), Gervinho (ankle), Kieran Gibbs (thigh), Abou Diaby (thigh) and Tomas Rosicky (hamstring).
Previous game's starting line-ups
- 34 Hildebrand
- 4 Howedes
- 22 Uchida
- 32 Matip
- 35 Kolasinac
- 31 Draxler
- 18 Raffael
- 13 Jones J
- 33 Neustadter
- 17 Farfan
- 25 Huntelaar
Team taken from Schalke vs Freiburg (German Bundesliga) on Saturday 18th May 2013
- 1 Szczesny
- 3 Sagna
- 4 Mertesacker
- 6 Koscielny
- 28 Gibbs
- 16 Ramsey
- 8 Arteta
- 14 Walcott
- 7 Rosicky
- 19 Cazorla
- 9 Podolski
Team taken from Arsenal vs Newcastle (Barclays Premier League) on Sunday 19th May 2013
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UEFA Champions League
Tue 6th Nov - Group A
PSG4 - 0Din Zagreb
Dynamo Kiev0 - 0FC Porto
Tue 6th Nov - Group C
Anderlecht1 - 0Zenit
AC Milan1 - 1Malaga
Tue 6th Nov - Group D
R Madrid2 - 2B Dortmund
Man City2 - 2Ajax
Tue 6th Nov - Group B
Olympiakos3 - 1Montpellier
Schalke2 - 2Arsenal
UEFA Champions League Group A
|1||Paris St Germain||6||15|
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|3||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||7|
UEFA Champions League Group D
UEFA Champions League Group E
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
UEFA Champions League Group H
Schalke v Arsenal
Arsene Wenger is hoping that Arsenal can book their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a game to spare.
Lewis Holtby has saluted Schalke's "astonishing" performance after they retrieved a two-goal deficit against Arsenal.
Arsenal's Theo Walcott has insisted he just wants to play and thinks he has done enough to earn a place in the team.