Arsenal are preparing for arguably the biggest challenge in European football tonight – overcoming a 2-0 deficit against Barcelona at the Nou Camp – and the team sheets came in around half an hour ago.
Barcelona’s line-up is how you’d expect; Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez forming a world-class attacking triplet, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta pulling the strings in midfield and Dani Alves and Jordi Alba providing the width from full-back.
Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal selection, however, has raised a few eyebrows, particularly in regards to the shock inclusion of youngster Alex Iwobi – most curiously, at the expense of Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Joel Campbell, who all find themselves warming up the bench.
The Nigerian youngster has certainly shown a few glimpses of his potential this season, registering twelve appearances across all competitions, and Wenger is clearly a huge fan – refusing the chance to loan the 19-year-old out during the January transfer window.
But is he really ready to impact at the Nou Camp, as Arsenal look to overturn a two-goal deficit and maintain some meaning to an otherwise wasted season? Some on Twitter have branded it a masterstroke, but others aren’t so convinced.
Ahead of first Champions League start at Nou Camp, Alex Iwobi be like… pic.twitter.com/pOTSPTA0XT
— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) March 16, 2016
Delighted to see Iwobi start. He's been very lively in the games he's featured in. Flamini however…#AFC
— Hasan (@HShah14) March 16, 2016
Iwobi the big news really. If he does something on the wing, could make a case more regularly. How's Joel feeling tho?
— SuburbanGöönerChris (@SuburbanGooner) March 16, 2016
Iwobi instead of Campbell? Who even is he? Sounds like Star Wars character. Obi wans son or ??
— ARDA TURAN (@MOURlNHOED) March 16, 2016
I like iwobi but strange selection… Hopefully the gamble pays off and we don't get battered
— Paaaat (@Patrick_the_Ig) March 16, 2016
Busquets won't be able to handle Iwobi between the lines, could get messy AF
— #ISTANDWITHWENGER (@SemperIiber) March 16, 2016
Iwobi u know wengers a joke
— Cash Stacks = Stacky (@Stackyvell) March 16, 2016
Iwobi is either gonna have the game of his life or he's gonna wish he never stayed at this club
— Jess (@JessWilshere) March 16, 2016
Can't imagine what Iwobi must be going through right now. Starting against Barcelona at Camp nou, biggest chance to impress he'll ever get
— FG (@FunnyGooner) March 16, 2016
Iwobi you know, we need to actually consider Wenger's mental state this year, I think the pressure has cracked him
— Bubba Ray Dudley (@GummyAFC) March 16, 2016
— Samuel Gilbert (@Samuel_Gilbert_) March 16, 2016
Gonna have a meltdown if I hear a commentator mention that Iwobi is Jay-Jay Okocha's newphew. Coz I haven't heard it 106483 times before tho
— Rich (@Mesutmerised) March 16, 2016