Arsene Wenger has some thinking to do ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final with Everton. The Gunners were dealt a massive blow with the news of Jack Wilshere’s hairline fracture in his left foot, meaning the midfielder will be out of the squad for eight weeks. Laurent Koscielny is also a doubt after picking up a hamstring injury on international duty.
Wenger confirmed Koscielny will require a fitness test ahead of the match at Emirates, however we should expect no risks taken with captain Thomas Vermaelen set to come back in.
Lukasz Fabanski will almost certainly start between the sticks. The Pole has been the ‘Cup’ goalkeeper this season and will also start in midweek against Bayern with Szczesny suspended.
Arsene has no choice but to field the strongest side, starting with the backline. Bacary Sagna, Per Mertsacker, Vermaelen (unless Kosc is 100% fit) and Kieran Gibbs seems an almost certainty.
In midfield it gets slightly trickier. Wenger will be tempted to field a double pivot of Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini. It has worked well before and it appears to work at home. However I’m not a massive fan, it has to be Tomas Rosicky to replace Wilshere and partner Flamini (for his aggression and solidity he brings) in the centre of the park with Mesut Ozil ahead.
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The experienced Czech offers a bit more creativity and burst in the midfield, he’s also more effective centrally and has proven he can do a job in a slightly deeper role.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may even be afforded a rare start in central midfield, but we need his pace on the wings. He is a more finished article than Serge Gnabry and should start on the right with Santi on the left.
Olivier Giroud will spearhead the attack, with Sanogo and Bendtner among the substitutes.
Here is our predicted lineup:
Sagna Merts Verm Gibbs
The Ox Cazorla
What are your thoughts and ideas? Comment below..