Barclays Premier League
Kick off: November 22nd, 2014 1730 GMT
With the international break done, it is time to focus on club football again. The Gunners were horrible before the break, first throwing away a two goal lead against Anderlecht in the Champions League before losing to Swansea despite holding a one goal advantage until late in the game.
Today’s game against an injury depleted United side is an important one for Wenger. He needs to silence his critics, and a win for the Gunners will go a long way towards doing that, and also increase confidence levels ahead of a crucial clash against Borussia Dortmund.
The team is more or less standard considering our limited choices for a variety of positions. The defence picks itself; Szczesny between the sticks, with Chambers and Gibbs out wide. Mertesacker and Monreal are the centre backs. Monreal really needs to be at his best today, as does Chambers. Players like Angel di Maria and Wayne Rooney are unforgiving if you let them make space.
In the midfield, we have Arteta and Wilshere playing deep roles. This is fairly standard from Wenger, as this maximises defensive ability. Wilshere has been playing a DM role for England and has done rather well, plus he can get forward when required and Arteta can control possession effectively. Both need to be highly focussed however, a single mistake will cost us dearly.
Up front, we have Ramsey, with the Ox and Sanchez. These two have been our best players so far this season, and today’s result will largely depend on their performances against a makeshift United back line. This pick also has flexibility, Sanchez can play centrally, with Ramsey drifting out wide; or Wilshere will play wide and Ramsey can play in the deep midfield role.
Welbeck stays as striker. The player has been impressive, and has a tremendous workrate, but his finishing needs to improve. Maybe today is the day however, and Welbz winner against United will be an amazing result.
As substitutes, we have quite a few quality players, including the returning Giroud. A Podolski or Cazorla late on could also make a decisive contribution to the game.
Szczesny, Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Ox, Ramsey, Sanchez, Welbeck.
Martinez, Bellerin, Flamini, Rosicky, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud.