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Arsenal look to continue winning run with victory over Lens

Arsenal will be looking to continue their winning run with victory over Lens in the group stages of the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Mikel Arteta arsenal

Arsenal will be looking to continue their winning run with victory over Lens in the group stages of the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The Gunners head to Northern France to face Lens at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis on Matchday 2 having kicked off their Group B campaign in perfect style. Mikel Arteta’s men faced off against familiar opposition in their opening game when they welcomed PSV Eindhoven to the Emirates Stadium. PSV beat Arsenal in the Europa League the last time the two sides met last season and went into the game off the back of a 26-game unbeaten run, so on paper it was a tricky test.

However, Arsenal dismantled the Dutch giants with ease. Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard were all on target to help the Gunners to a comfortable 4-0 victory. Arteta will now hope to make it two wins from two games when they take on Lens in their first away game of the group stages on Tuesday night.

The Gunners have recovered from their frustrating 2-2 draw with Tottenham in the North London Derby after picking up two wins in the last week. Following the disappointing NLD draw, a much-changed Arsenal side beat Brentford 1-0 in the League Cup last week thanks to an early strike from Reiss Nelson.

They followed that up with an impressive 4-0 demolition of Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium in the Premier League at the weekend. Saka opened the scoring with a close-range header before Odegaard doubled Arsenal’s lead from the penalty spot. Kai Havertz then scored his first goal since joining from Chelsea in the summer. The German made no mistake from the penalty spot after his team-mates gave him the ball, despite not being the nominated penalty taker. Ben White headed home a late fourth to seal the win and move Arsenal up to joint second in the table, just one point behind leaders Manchester City following their shock defeat to Wolves.

The Gunners are still unbeaten in all competitions this season and Arteta will hope to maintain that impressive record when they take on a dangerous Lens side tomorrow evening.

Lens were hugely impressive last season as they pushed PSG all the way in the title race – eventually finishing second by just one point. It was a disappointment, but they still qualified for the Champions League and are looking to make their mark on the European stage. However, they haven’t started the 2023/24 season well as Lens have won just two games so far – although they managed to pull out of the bottom three with a narrow 1-0 win at Strasbourg on Friday night.

The French side also secured an impressive 1-1 draw away to Sevilla in their opening Group B game, so Arsenal will know not to take them too lightly when the two sides face-off at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis on Tuesday evening. It should be an entertaining game between two sides who like to attack, and you can still buy Champions League tickets at for the game if you want to attend the match in person.

Injury woes

Arsenal have been having to deal with a lengthy injury list in recent weeks and Arteta will need to check on a number of players ahead of the trip to France.

Saka picked up an ankle injury during the win over Tottenham and missed the Brentford game as a result. The winger returned to start against Bournemouth on Saturday but limped off with a fresh issue midway through the second half. The England international will be assessed but the good news is he was able to train on Monday so Saka should be in the squad. Although Arteta may not want to risk him from the start with Sunday’s huge Premier League clash with Man City in mind.

Leandro Trossard is available again after missing the last two games with a muscle issue that he sustained in training. The Belgian was on the bench against Bournemouth but wasn’t risked so he could come in for Saka if Arteta opts to rest the 22-year-old.

Gabriel Martinelli is expected to miss the trip to France as he’s still working his way back to full fitness from a hamstring injury that he sustained against Everton last month. The Brazilian international has missed Arsenal’s last four games and isn’t likely to be rushed back to face Lens as Arteta won’t want to risk a set-back.

William Saliba and Fabio Vieira have recovered from minor knocks to feature at the weekend. They will no doubt be checked to see if they suffered any adverse reaction but it appears they came through the Bournemouth game unscathed so they should be in the travelling squad.

However, one player who is certain to miss out is Jurrien Timber. Arsenal’s big-money summer signing sustained a serious ACL knee injury on his Premier League debut against Nottingham Forest in August and is expected to miss the vast majority of the season.

However, Arsenal have received some good news after Thomas Partey was spotted back in training at London Colney on Monday. The Ghanaian international has been out since suffering a groin injury last month but has made a swift recovery. Arteta isn’t likely to rush Partey back for the Lens game as he’ll give him time to build up his fitness before throwing him back into action.

As for Lens, Wuilker Farinez is out with a knee injury while Jimmy Cabot is another long-term absentee. David Costa is a major doubt with a shoulder issue while Massadio Haidara could be ruled out with a thigh injury.


Arteta played a strong side in the first game and is likely to do-so again, despite the Man City game on the horizon. Fabio Vieira, Jacub Kiwior, Takehiro Tomiyau and Trossard are all pushing for recalls if the Spanish coach decides to mix things up.

Kiwior could replace Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back while Tomiyasu was hugely impressive at centre-back against Brentford so he could start against Lens with Gabriel or Saliba rested.

Vieira has been getting a run of games recently and may replace Havertz in midfield tomorrow night. Declan Rice has been nursing a back issue so Arteta may give him a breather with Jorginho ready to step-in to the holding role.

If Saka isn’t risked from the start, then Trossard should be recalled to start in Arsenal’s attack. Reiss Nelson is another option for Arteta if he wants to give Gabriel Jesus or Eddie Nketiah a rest.

Score prediction: Arsenal are the heavy favourites to win this game and while I don’t think Lens should be underestimated away from home, the Gunners should still have too much quality in the end. Lens 1-2 Arsenal

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