Arsenal are set to face a struggling West Ham United side who have managed to gain just a point this month, and sit right on the edge of the relegation zone.
The Gunners have struggled in their last three Premier League matches, gaining two points out of a possible nine, however the trio of fixtures were against Everton, City and Chelsea. It’s time to get back on track and begin to string some wins together, however Sam Allardyce’s side will be no easy target, they’ve managed two wins over our fierce rivals Spuds this season, including the Capital One Cup quarter-final win recently.
Arsene Wenger has admitted he will need to rotate, especially with a clash away to Newcastle coming just three days later, and is still undecided over whether to utilize the fit-again Lukas Podolski. The Arsenal boss said:
Podolski has not played at all since the second game of the season and he lacks a bit competitiveness.
Of course I can only find it if I play him but he’s been in training for just two weeks now. I have to make that decision when I use him or not.
But we need to rotate a little bit because we play so many games now and we put in a lot of effort against Chelsea.
Mesut Ozil could perhaps be afforded a rest, while Wenger has admitted Giroud will face some rotation at some point in the next couple weeks. But the Frenchman will want to get back to winning ways and regain some momentum and confidence, the last thing they need is to slip-up against the Hammers.
Keiran Gibbs is another that can be easily switched out, but seems as how he missed the City loss he could be in for another run-out. He was exceptional against Chelsea on Monday, causing some real havoc in the final third.
Laurent Koscielny’s availability remains unknown but he may well be in store for a return to action, however will not be rushed back after a positive outing from Thomas Vermaelen against Chelsea.
Mikel Arteta took a hammering against the Blues but will likely retain his place, as will Aaron Ramsey with Jack Wilshere unavailable due to his suspension. The Welshman could be switched out against Newcastle perhaps.
Theo Walcott will likely continue on the wing, while Santi Cazorla should be reintroduced and Tomas Rosicky could slot in for Ozil if Wenger opts to rotate the German international who has featured in pretty much every game since his arrival.
Wenger has plenty of midfield combinations, with Lukas Podolski also an option and could be set for a return to action. But it appears he will most likely feature from the bench first.
Possible Lineup 1
Sagna Merts Verm (c) Gibbs
Possible Lineup 2
Sagna Merts (c) Kosc Monreal
What are your thoughts and ideas? Comment below..