The teams have been announced for our match against Sunderland this Saturday afternoon, and there are no real surprises.
We’re looking to bounce back from two disappointing results against West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City, and with injuries limiting him somewhat, Arsene Wenger has more or less put out his strongest squad possible.
Petr Cech continues in goal, with David Ospina getting nowhere near the team since his Champions League blunders. Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal keep their places at full-back, although Wenger will be hoping for some better deliveries this time around – as both have been poor with their crosses recently.
The good news in central defence is that Laurent Koscielny is back, as the Frenchman was seen limping off against Norwich with a hip injury. Per Mertesacker keeps his place alongside him, with Gabriel Paulista once again consigned to the bench.
With Santi Cazorla unavailable, Aaron Ramsey will most likely be pushed centrally with Mathieu Flamini, while Mesut Özil keeps his spot ahead of them. The German playmaker has been phenomenal recently, and if there’s one player we can’t afford to get injured it’s him.
Joel Campbell and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain start out wide, and will no doubt be looking to pump crosses into the box for Olivier Giroud.
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Theo Walcott returns from injury to make the bench, but whether he’ll feature today remains to be seen. Alex Iwobi is also among the substitutes, with our wide options somewhat limited.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) December 5, 2015
The Sunderland team is as follows:
Sunderland XI v Arsenal: Pantilimon, Yedlin, van Aanholt, Kaboul, O’Shea (c), Coates, Toivonen, M’Vila, Watmore, Borini, Fletcher.
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) December 5, 2015
They’ve got a pretty attacking look about them, with Duncan Watmore, Fabio Borini, and Steven Fletcher all starting.
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We should be more than capable of brushing the relegation candidates aside though, and need to do so to keep our title challenge going.