The Gunners’ final game of the season is a big one… For the second year in a row we will be looking to complete our campaign by lifting a piece of silverware at Wembley, while retaining the trophy we won in such dramatic circumstances twelve months ago.
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Aston Villa are our opponents this time around for the FA Cup final and, ahead of the game, Arsene Wenger has a number of major selection issues to decide upon. Most notably in goal, where David Ospina will be hoping to keep his place ahead of Wojciech Szczesny.
Wenger will also be considering whether or not to recall Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud, who both sat out our 4-1 win over West Brom last weekend. Giroud’s replacement, Theo Walcott, did of course score a hat-trick in that game to put his name firmly in-line for a possible selection.
Nonetheless, here’s how we think we’ll line-up…
GK) Wojciech Szczesny
He’s been our cup keeper so far this season and would no doubt feel hard done by if he missed out. He had to watch our Wembley victory from the sidelines last year, with Lukasz Fabianski preferred, so he must feel like he’s due here.
RB) Hector Bellerin
Even if Mathieu Debuchy is back he won’t be fully fit, so we see no reason not to stick with the young Spaniard, who has been a revelation at full-back so far this season. The 20-year-old has rarely let us down and deserves the reward.
LB) Nacho Monreal
Kieran Gibbs played against West Brom on the final day of the Premier League season but the Spaniard has been the man for the big occasion throughout much of the campaign. It’s hard to see him not retaking his place for the final.
CB) Per Mertesacker
The big German has virtually been an ever present throughout our campaign and there’s no way he’s going to miss out here. He’ll likely have his hands full with Christian Benteke though and he’ll need to be at his very best.
CB) Laurent Koscielny
Out second change in the back four should see Koscielny come back in for Gabriel. The Brazilian has been more than decent since he joined us in January but there is no disputing the fact that our recognised central pair will play here.