With a few big injuries keeping key players out of the side, many expected Arsene Wenger to field the same team he did against Liverpool. There are three massive changes to the team that drew with Brendan Rodgers’ side however, with Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Laurent Koscielny coming in.
Olivier Giroud has taken some flak recently, and the majority of fans are calling for a new striker to arrive before the window slams shut. Wenger may be looking to find a solution from within though, and will be hoping Walcott can lead the line alone against Newcastle.
The Ox has been superb in recent months, and few could understand why he wasn’t starting regularly. He has benefited from a knee injury suffered by Mesut Özil however (via the Sun), with the young Englishman getting a start – presumably on the right.
We missed our first team centre-back pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker last week, especially given the poor performance of Calum Chambers. The giant German is still absent, but Koscielny has returned to the side to replace the young Englishman. Gabriel showed glimpses of real quality, so hopefully he can form an excellent partnership with Koscielny.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 29, 2015
We have an excellent record against Newcastle and should accept nothing short of all three points. St James’ Park isn’t the easiest place to come to, but we have more than enough quality to get the win.
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The absence of Mesut Özil is likely to annoy many fans, but the changes to the team will presumably be met with a huge amount of positivity.