Schalke 04 v Arsenal – Champions League preview and team news

Arsenal travel to Germany looked to arrest an alarming slump in form and get qualification for the knockout stages from Group B back on track. The Gunners currently lie second, one point behind the hosts and will be eyeing for revenge after they were convincingly beaten by Huub Stevens’ side at the Emirates courtesy of Dutch pair Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay.

However, if the Gunners are to come away from the Veltins Arena with victory on Tuesday night, they will have to do it without Aaron Ramsey. The Welsh midfielder picked up a groin strain during Saturday’s defeat at Manchester United and he joins a lengthy injury list that contains Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho, Kieran Gibbs, Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky and Wojciech Szczesny.

Ramsey’s injury could leave the door open for Theo Walcott to emerge from the shadows as a first-team regular once again but the England winger is doubtful with an illness. Elsewhere, following a string of poor performances and the furore over his shirt-swap incident with former Gunners captain Robin Van Persie at the weekend, Andre Santos could drop to the substitutes bench, with Laurent Koscielny coming into central-defence and captain Thomas Vermaelen switching over to left-back. Oliver Giroud looks set to lead the line once again as he searches for his first Champions League for the club.

Schalke are likely to line up with the same line-up that dispatched the Gunners so comfortably a fortnight ago, although centre-back Kyrgiakos Papadopoulos could miss out after suffering an eye injury in their defeat at Hoffenheim in their last Bundesliga outing. The Gelsenkirchen-based side currently lie second in the Bundesliga table, seven points behind runaway leaders Bayern Munich. Up front, the livewire trio of Jefferson Farfan, Huntelaar and Afellay look set to start once again.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Schalke v Arsenal

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