Aaron Ramsey has scored eight goals in ten games this season. Image courtesy of Getty Images
Arsenal will be looking to continue its great start to the season when it hosts Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday morning (AEST), looking for a tenth consecutive victory. Since suffering a shock defeat at home to Aston Villa on the opening day of the Premier League season, the Gunners haven’t lost a match. Like their opponents, Napoli has made a strong start to the domestic campaign, with five wins and a draw from six Serie A fixtures.
Serge Gnabry could make his European debut at the Emirates after scoring his first goal for the Gunners in a strong performance in the 2-1 victory over Swansea on the weekend. It appears as though the 18 year-old will get an extended run in the first team with Theo Walcott sidelined with an abdominal injury that is likely to keep him on the sidelines until the middle of October. Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski are amongst the other players unavailable for the Gunners, while Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen are in contention to start after coming off the bench against the Swans.
Former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Rafael Benetiz has made a terrific start to his tenure at Napoli and has a near full-strength squad to call upon in London. Goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Lorenzo Insigne led the Serie A runner-up to a 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund on matchday one. Former Real Madrid hitman Higuain will be sure to get a good recent from the Arsenal fans after coming close to signing for the club in the summer.
The Gunners have a strong home record against non-English opposition, with last season’s defeat to FC Schalke at the Emirates the first defeat the Londoners had suffered at home in European competition for nine years. Given that the Naples based club collected just three points from four away matches in the Europa League last season, Arsenal will be confident of maintaining their strong home record against the Italian side.
Although these sides are yet to meet in a competitive fixture, they did battle in the Emirates Cup at the start of August with the hosts overturning a two goal deficit to snatch a 2-2 draw.
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