Champions League 2012: Arsenal Face Toughest Test Yet

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Champions League 2012: Arsenal Face Toughest Test Yet
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Arsenal face Schalke in about 45 minutes at the Emirates Stadium for an enthralling Champions League match.

The Gunners were heavily criticised for their lacklustre display against Norwich, which saw them lose the game 1-0, and now trail Chelsea by 10 points.

Arsene Wenger told the BBC: "You can always find excuses when you lose a game but, overall, you have to stand up and say Norwich wanted it more than us.

"Norwich defended well with good spirit and good organisation. We had a lot of the ball but we didn't do a lot with it. Our offensive performance was very, very poor.

"Football is a sport where, first of all, you have to be right with your concentration and I feel offensively we didn't win the decisive fights."

The Arsenal boss will be looking for a response against a team who have a striker who scores goals for fun. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored a staggering 48 goals in 47 games for Schalke last season. The Netherlands international has already netted eight goals for both club and country.

The Gunners defense will have to be at its very best to stop Schalke from causing an upset. The German outfit dominated their weekend game against Borussia Dortmund, and came away with all three points.

Both teams are out and this is how they line up ahead of kick-off:

Arsenal: Mannone, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Andre Santos, Ramsey, Coquelin, Arteta, Podolski, Cazorla, Gervinho.

Subs: Shea, Koscielny, Giroud, Djourou, Arshavin, Chamakh, Gnabry.

Schalke 04: Unnerstall, Uchida, Howedes, Matip, Fuchs, Hoger, Neustadter, Holtby, Afellay, Farfan, Huntelaar.

Subs: Hildebrand, Marica, Jones, Barnetta, Moritz, Draxler, Kolasinac.

The away team look a lot stronger than the home team with more flair with the likes of Farfan, Afellay and Holtby.

Arsene Wenger is risking getting a result with a lack of experience in midfield. That's the greatest concern.

If Arsenal overcome this challenge and win, the team should have more confidence and rise up in the league. The Gunners need a positive result ahead of the QPR game on Saturday.

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