We certainly haven’t been anywhere near our best so far this season, but we’ve been grinding out results and sit in sixth place – just a point off the top four. The tedium of the international break is finally behind us, and we’re getting back to club competition with a clash against Stoke.
Historically this game has turned up some interesting results, but hopefully it will be a fairly straight forward victory this time around.
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Here’s how we think Arsene Wenger will choose to line up this weekend:
GK) Petr Cech
The Czech international is our undisputed first-choice, so barring an injury to the 33-year-old, David Ospina may have to get used to his spot on the bench.
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RB) Hector Bellerin
Mathieu Debuchy is understandably not best pleased at losing his starting spot to Bellerin, but the young Spaniard has performed excellently ever since stepping up to the plate.
LB) Nacho Monreal
Monreal’s defensive qualities have made us far more stable, and the left-back balances with the more attack-minded Bellerin excellently.
CB) Laurent Koscielny
The Frenchman has been struggling with a back injury recently, but is expected to be back and fully fit for the Stoke clash (via the Evening Standard). We are far better with Koscielny in the side, and he has to be one of the first names on the teamsheet.
CB) Per Mertesacker
The German missed the last two games with illness, and was replaced by Gabriel. The Brazilian was excellent in Mertesacker’s absence, but while many Arsenal fans will disagree with the decision (we at All Arsenal among them), it seems likely that Wenger will return the World Cup winner to the side at the expense of the former Villarreal man.