WENGER’S PRAYING HIS ARSE IS IN SAFE HANDS
ARSENE WENGER will be hoping rookie keeper Emiliano Martinez doesn’t concede as many as the last time they gave him a game.
The Gunners have a goalkeeping crisis as first-choice Wojciech Szczesny is banned following his red card in the 4-1 win over Galatasaray and experienced back-up David Ospina is sidelined with a thigh injury.
That means Martinez will be thrust in at the deep end in Belgium tonight – and a complete unknown will be on the bench.
Argie Martinez, 22, has only been picked twice before by Gunners boss Wenger.
And his most recent outing saw him let in FIVE goals in an extraordinary League Cup match at Reading.
That night two years ago saw the Royals speed into a 4-0 lead, only for Arsenal to hit back and win 7-5 after extra time.
Martinez has since had a loan spell with Sheffield Wednesday, playing 15 times for the Championship side last year.
The Anderlecht clash is by far the biggest game he’s been involved in – and that will also be the case for whoever is on the bench. Wenger will have to choose between youth team options Ryan Huddart, Josh Vickers and Matt Macey, who were all called up to train with the first team yesterday.
Seventeen-year-old Huddart – squad No.43 – is the lad expected to be given the nod for bench duty.
Midfielder Aaron Ramsey is expected to make his first start in a month after the Wales international came off the bench
ALMOST READY: Walcott during Saturday’s 2-2 draw at home to Hull.
Theo Walcott is also training with the first team following nine months out with ruptured knee ligaments sustained against Tottenham in January.
He played 45 minutes for the reserves on Friday night but is not expected to feature against Anderlecht.
Both sides have made distinctly average starts to their Champions League campaigns, being well beaten by Borussia Dortmund, while Anderlecht could only manage a 1-1 draw with Galatasaray in Turkey.
Arsenal are weighing up a January bid for Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain.
Wenger tried to sign him two summers ago but was too slow and the Real Madrid man decided to join Napoli.
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BIG CHANCE: Emiliano Martinez