Arsenal travel to East London today to face a high flying West Ham United side just two days after an exhausting 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers. Several players gave their all, including one Alexis Sanchez who produced another insatiable performance. But with Olivier Giroud’s suspension another kick in the teeth in what has been the most insane season absentee list in .. History, Arsene Wenger may have little choice but retain an almost identical starting XI.
The main positives to come out of the recent team news is the ‘chance’ that Laurent Koscielny could be fit and available as could Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Theo Walcott is likely to be involved after missing out on Friday with Arsenal attempting to hold on to their late one goal advantage against the Rangers.
Rotation has been tipped, but let’s be honest there are limited options available at the back and in midfield, while further forward Alexis Sanchez is undroppable for such an important tie. Theo Walcott could be in line for his first start of the season, while Lukas Podolski will also be in the picture despite speculation he is heading for the exit door this January.
The return of Koscielny would be a massive boost but that remains a big question mark. It was thought he was in line for the call up this weekend but Wenger knows he cannot afford to rush his compatriot after his continuous injury troubles this season.
Tomas Rosicky was brilliant on Friday and looks almost certain to keep his place in the midfield with Santi Cazorla ahead. Alexis seems an automatic selection despite obvious signs of fatigue prior to the win at home to QPR and will hope to continue to pull the strings again this afternoon.
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Danny Welbeck will lead the line which leaves one spot available on the wing for either a potentially fit-again Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott or Podolski.
Here are two potential predicted lineup’s. The first of which assuming the best case scenario (and what a lineup!!), the second assuming all injury doubts and risks are excluded.
Predicted Lineup 1:
Predicted Lineup 2:
What are your thoughts Gooners? Share them below!