Preview: FC Basel v Arsenal

Arsenal must better PSG’s result against Ludogorets to progress as Group A winners when they face Basel in their UEFA Champions League group fixture at St Jakob Park on Tuesday evening.

UEFA Champions League
6/7 December 2016
Kick-off 03:45
Venue: St. Jakob-Park

Referee: Manuel De Sousa
Assistants: A Mesquita, P Soares
Fourth official: R Santos

Head-to-head summary

Basel 5 0 2 3
Arsenal 5 3 2 0

Previous encounter

Arsenal 2-0 Basel 28/07/16 (Champions League)

Arsenal goalscorers: (7′) T. Walcott, (26′) T. Walcott

Players to watch

Alexis Sanchez is the obvious danger-man after his incredible 14-minute hattrick against West Ham on Saturday evening. His current form for the Gunners makes him undroppable for Arsene Wenger as a striker who wants to continue his momentum.

Sanchez has not only worried defences over Europe with his pace, power and trickery but his finishing this season has improved immeasurably – with his third against the Hammers a particular strike for the highlight reels.

For the home side Seydou Dombia, once considered the most sought after forwards in Europe in now in a loan spell with the Swiss side and the diminutive forward has enjoyed a rich vein of form.

Nine goals in 12 league games this season, see’s the Ivorian top the scorers charts and he will no doubt be keen to put himself in the shopping window with a strong performance against one of Europe’s elite clubs.

Team form and manager quotes

Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 14 away games in all competitions and have already secured safe passage to the knockout stages of the competition, but a 2-2 home draw against PSG on matchday five.

Coupled with a 1-1 draw in the French capital, leaves the Ligue 1 champions top of the group with a superior head-to-head record.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was quizzed on the future of Alexis Sanchez after his thrilling hat trick against West Ham, and admitted that he may be naive in thinking that money shouldn’t be a concern for a modern player.

“Well, I would like to say the luxury of the modern game should be that it’s not only about the money, because the players make anyway wherever they play good money at this level.

“I believe, personally… maybe I am a bit naïve, but it’s more about getting to meet the players’ needs. That’s about the way the club has values, the way the club has ambition, the way the club respects the players.

“So I think, for me, that is more important nowadays and an important ingredient for every player to consider. The money is good everywhere for everybody.”

Basel’s recent form has been indifferent of late but after the 3-1 defeat to Young Boys in their last league encounter, they will be looking for a reaction against the English Premier League side.

Urs Fischer, Basel coach on the tie where third spot is the objective: “Arsenal are very efficient. I watched them against [West Ham] at the weekend. They were always in control and then really turned it on. They’re very dangerous going forward.”

“I’m more of a realist and I think we’ll need a bit of luck tomorrow. I don’t have the feeling that I need to learn from any particular previous games.

“I think we’ve played well so far but of course if we want to get anything from this game we’re going to have to be at our best. We certainly can’t make the same kind of mistakes we made at the weekend. If we can play at our best we can get a result but we need a bit of luck too.”

Look who's back training outside… #Hector #Arsenal #preparation #AFC

A photo posted by Arsenal Official (@arsenal) on Dec 5, 2016 at 10:31am PST

Team news

Arsenal remain without Santi Cazorla (Achilles) and Hector Bellerin (ankle), Francis Coquelin (suspended), while Urs Fischer has a clean bill of health to select from.