Arsene Wenger has risked backlash by resting Petr Cech and Francis Coquelin for Arsenal’s Champions League opener away at Dinamo Zagreb this evening.
David Ospina and club captain Mikel Arteta each make their first starts of the season as Wenger – who also left Aaron Ramsey and Hector Bellerin behind in England – rotates his squad.
Mathieu Debuchy is recalled in place of Bellerin, while Kieran Gibbs comes in for Nacho Monreal at left-back in two of six changes from the 2-0 win over Stoke City.
Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott both scored in the victory at the Emirates Stadium. Tonight, the Frenchman is preferred as the lone striker to his rapid teammate, despite Walcott having great memories of this venue from his hat-trick for England against Croatia in 2008.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returns alongside Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in the attacking-midfield trident, with forgotten man Joel Campbell a surprise name on the bench.
Per Mertesacker, Tomas Rosicky, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere are all missing through injury.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) September 16, 2015
Croatian champions Zagreb, the breeding ground for talents such as Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric and former Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva, line up as follows at the Stadion Maksimir.
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