We start the road towards defending our FA Cup title this Saturday, with Arsene Wenger looking to ensure we lift our third consecutive FA Cup trophy come the end of the campaign.
The Frenchman has delivered some team news ahead of the game (via Arsenal.com), and has given us a number of hints as to who will start this weekend.
Here’s how we think Arsenal will line up against Sunderland this Saturday:
GK) Petr Cech
We have a worrying suspicion that David Ospina could start this game, but we’re really, really hoping Wenger sticks with Cech.
RB) Mathieu Debuchy
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As we revealed previously, Hector Bellerin has recently taken a trip to Amsterdam (see here). This leads us to think that he may be handed a rest this weekend, leaving Mathieu Debuchy or Calum Chambers as options at right-back.
Debuchy’s inclusion – or omission – will say a lot about his future at the club, and if he’s left out you’d expect him to be shipped out this January.
LB) Kieran Gibbs
Monreal could also be handed a rest, and thankfully, unlike at right-back, we have a much more able bodied replacement in Gibbs.
CB) Gabriel Paulista
How Gabriel hasn’t been given more time on the pitch already is a real mystery, but he should get a chance once again this weekend.
CB) Per Mertesacker
Arsenal fans would love to see a partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel Paulista, but Wenger seems determined to stick with Per Mertesacker wherever possible.
Arsenal transfer news