Arsenal will host Montpellier Wednesday with a chance to launch themselves into the knockout phase of Champions League play.
Coming off a 5-2 drubbing of Spurs last weekend, and undefeated in three straight matches, the Gunners are poised to do exactly that.
Montpellier find themselves buried at the bottom of the Group B standings with just one point. The French club is winless during the Group stage and now must fend off a hungry Arsenal squad on the verge of advancing.
Having already been mathematically eliminated from Champions League contention, Montpellier are merely playing for pride at this point.
Still, Arsenal have yet to notch their first home win over a French club and now must do so to avoid potentially being surpassed by third-place Olympiakos for the No. 2 spot. Olympiakos is on a roll after two straight victories and sits just one point behind Arsenal in Group B.
What a perfect time for Montpellier to play the role of spoiler.
Where: Emirates Stadium, London, England
When: Wednesday, November 21, 2:45 p.m. EST
TV: Fox Soccer Plus
Live Stream: Fox Soccer2Go
Arsenal: Can the Gunners stay hot and advance to the final 16 with ease?
Arsenal's convincing win over Tottenham leads one to believe the London club should dispose of the French champions with relative ease.
To do so, the Gunners must improve in group play. Arsenal's 2-1 win over Montpellier in September was not taken convincingly and their previous two matches have produced just one point.
Arsène Wenger's club is fully aware of what's at stake in London on Wednesday. A win over the French club and a Schalke victory over Olympiakos will thrust the Gunners into the knockout rounds for a 13th straight season.
But Montpellier, as they proved in the first meeting, will not surrender without a fight. Despite the French side's disappointing results in group play, Arsenal's own inconsistencies leave the door wide open for an upset in London.
Striker Olivier Giroud scored in the win over the Spurs and will need to stay hot. Midfielders Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla have also been picking up steam as of late.
Arsenal have the firepower to put this one away early, but it's easier said than done in Champions League play.
Montpellier: Can they finally get a win in the Group stage?
The French champions are obviously not playing well right now.
Even so, a victory over Arsenal would undoubtedly spark some confidence in René Girard's club as they attempt to defend their Ligue 1 title back home. Winless in their last four matches, Montpellier will take the field in desperate need of something positive to build on.
A win over Arsenal in England would surely do the trick.
Montpellier must not only stave off a ferocious Gunners offensive attack but find a way to score against a team struggling defensively. Arsenal have allowed 14 goals in their last five matches, so the French club should view that as a weakness to be exploited.
Win or lose, Montpellier need a strong performance against Arsenal to develop some sort of momentum. A slow start will likely spell doom against a confident and hungry club like the Gunners and only further the French side's disastrous downward spiral.
Montpellier will come out of the gate hot, but Arsenal's offensive firepower will eventually overwhelm the opposition and prove to be the deciding factor in the match.
Gunners win 4-2 in the highest-scoring match of Group B action thus far.
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