When Schalke and Arsenal meet for the second time in Champions League play, the outcome of the crucial match may very well determine which team ends up winning the group.
Schalke are currently on seven points and sitting atop the group, and a win would almost assure the team's advancement to the next round. Arsenal is just a point behind them with six, and the Gunners would be in an excellent position to advance to the quarterfinals for the 13th straight year.
If there is a loser in this game, that club could be in trouble—a win for Olympiakos would put them at six points and within striking distance of the next round. Clearly, the stakes are sky high for each team.
Let's take a closer look at this vital match.
Where: Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
When: Tuesday, November 5 at 2:45 p.m. ET
TV: MSG Plus; FSN
Stream: FOX Soccer 2Go
Player to Watch: Theo Walcott, Arsenal
I don't know if Arsene Wenger will start Walcott, but he should. The Gunners sorely lacked any pace up the flanks on Saturday against Manchester United starting Lukas Podolski and Aaron Ramsey out wide, and in general the Gunners need a spark.
Enter Walcott. He posted a hat trick in Arsenal's wild 7-5 victory over Reading in the League Cup, and he has seven goals for Arsenal in all competitions this season despite starting just three games for the side.
Something needs to change for the Gunners, and getting Walcott into the starting lineup is a good place to start.
Keys to Schalke Win
So long as Schalke stay disciplined defensively and don't give Arsenal too much space on the counter, they should be able to stifle Arsenal's attack, which has lacked creativity and punch against better opponents this season.
The Gunners have also fallen prey to mindless, defensive gaffes in the defensive third and can be vulnerable on set pieces and corners, so Schalke need not press or control possession necessarily to score goals on the Gunners.
With a match at home and the Gunners struggling, Schalke must play a smart, sensible and steady game and they'll stand a very good chance of earning the three points.
Keys to Arsenal Win
First of all, someone needs to step up for the Gunners on the attack and begin producing goals. New signings Olivier Giroud and Podolski have shown glimmers of finishing class, but neither has made Arsenal's supporters forget about that Robin van Persie guy.
And Arsenal needs to be a bit less cute and simply let it rip from distance at times. Other than Santi Cazorla, Arsenal seems terrified at shooting anywhere near the edge of the box. They control possession and pass with the best of Europe's top clubs, but what's the point if the goals don't eventually come?
Finally, the defense's early-season prowess needs to return. Arsenal are not yet a side that can afford to give up two goals a game, and the defense needs to shore up and begin playing stingy soccer once again.
Neither team comes into this game on their best form, but Arsenal desperately need at least a point in this game. Each team will get just that, tying 1-1.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets aren't afraid to get emotional after a big win.
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