Arsenal haven’t lost in eight games to West Brom Albion and let’s hope the streak continues with a much needed three points tpday.
Let’s start from the back. Damian Martinez looks certain to start in goal with Wojciech Szczesny still struggling with his pelvis injury sustained last weekend against Manchester United. The Argentine put in a superb performance in place of No1 Szczesny against Dortmund and will be hoping to build upon that.
Laurent Koscielny looks likely to start with Arsene Wenger confirming he is ready, with the rest of the back line staying as is minus Nacho Monreal.
In midfield Mathieu Flamini is almost certain to slot straight in for Mikel Arteta who will be out for a couple of weeks at least – so about 20 games with the upcoming schedule (slight exaggeration). Aaron Ramsey is an automatic starter now Jack Wilshere’s ankle is being bent back into place.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been superb, a mini Alexis Sanchez without the goals. Hopefully they’ll come for him if he keeps up his immense work rate. Speaking of the Chilean, he will probably play in behind the striker (more on that in a minute) with Santi Cazorla on the left. The two will probably do a bit of swapping around. Have to say I was impressed with the Spaniard against Dortmund, he was terrific and long overdue for a good performance.
Olivier Giroud is my pick up front. Danny Welbeck is still a slight doubt despite training on Friday but could do with a rest. Giroud scored a stunner on Saturday and if he’s fully fit he will be the favourite to start.
The main curveball Wenger could throw is resting Alexis. The Gunners host Southampton on Wednesday, and the clubs top scorer has been playing a huge amount of football. Although he’s a physical beast, he needs to be monitored closely and receive some rest. The crazy winter schedule is closing in and we need our star man fit for as long as possible. Perhaps Podolski or Welbeck could be started on the wing with Santi as the No10.
Anyway, here’s our predicted lineup featuring Alexis: