Arsenal are set to host two back to back Premier League games within the space of four days, starting with Hull City on Wednesday evening.
Arsene Wenger’s side finished off Cardiff 3-0 at the weekend with a fantastic all round performance, but there is one question on everyone’s mind – should we rotate against the Tigers this week?
This will be no easy fixture, Hull beat Liverpool convincingly over the weekend and cannot be taken lightly. But Arsenal’s star men are starting to fatigue with the fixture list full on and not about to get any simpler.
The backline will see some change. Bacary Sagna has a hamstring problem and will miss the tie, meaning Carl Jenkinson will slot in at right back. Kosacker will remain the central partnership and Kieran Gibbs on the left. The only other possible change at the back could be the introduction of Monreal for Gibbs as Wenger seeks some rotation, he hinted that we may see some rotation in the full back areas.
In central midfield, Mikel Arteta oozed class over the weekend and was integral to the Gunners win – he cannot be dropped, neither can Ramsey. The Welshman shouldn’t feature for the entire 90 however with Mathieu Flamini a more than capable cover off the bench. He even demonstrated some goal scoring prowess against Cardiff, however rare a sight that may be!
Theo Walcott could be in line for his first start since his return from injury, with Jack Wilshere the likely candidate for a spot of rest after some encouraging displays recently. The England international will play a part in the fixture however, but the Hutt City visit provides the perfect platform for Walcott.
The other wing will likely be occupied by either Rosicky or Cazorla. The Spaniard adds more width to the lineup and gets the nod from us despite some subdued performances of late. Mesut Ozil has given a lot recently but will most likely start the fixture and if all goes to plan he can be brought off accordingly. The German could be afforded a rest however as Wenger has the option of fielding Cazorla on the left with Rosicky taking up the number 10 role (see alternate lineup).
Although Olivier Giroud has been unable to find his scoring boots away from the capital, 17 of his 18 Premier League goals have been scored in London. He will resume upfront as per usual.
The ideal situation would be for the Gunners to have a 2/3 goal lead by halftime and make a few substitutions earlier than the 60 minute mark. But this will NOT be an easy fixture and that appears to be dreaming.. Anyway, here’s our predicted lineup and a proposed alternate lineup that integrates Wilshere, Walcott and Rosicky into the mix while affording Ozil a well earned break.
Jenkinson Koscielny Mertesacker Gibbs
Arteta (c) Ramsey
Jenkinson Koscielny Mertesacker Monreal
Arteta (c) Ramsey
What are your thoughts and ideas? Comment below..