Arsenal host London rivals West Ham United on Saturday and with one eye on our trip to France on Tuesday, Arsene Wenger must use this opportunity for some minor rotation in the squad.
Now let’s get something straight – the Hammers will be not be a walkover and it is a must-win game for us. Not just for consistency sake but to maintain our top three position. But the games are coming thick and fast and we must utilize our squad to prevent even more muscular injuries.
We welcome back David Ospina between the sticks at the expense of Wojiech Szczesny who is struggling for confidence having lost the faith of manager Arsene Wenger.
Calum Chambers replaces Hector Bellerin to afford the Spaniard a rest ahead of our trip to Monaco, however Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny remain the centre half pairing due to consistency and the lack of other alternatives. Gabriel is set to join in with full training again on Sunday. Over on the left, Nacho Monreal was superb against Manchester United scoring his first goal in two years and was defensively assured. He gets the nod ahead of Kieran Gibbs who is seemingly second choice now.
Francis Coquelin has become such a vital player for us it seems difficult to rest him, Mathieu Flamini could be in line for a start but it would be somewhat of a risk considering he has only just returned to training today. Further forward we can afford to dabble in some rotation and rest the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez who are being pushed to their limits.
Aaron Ramsey and Tomas Rosicky come in to replace Cazorla and Ozil while Danny Welbeck retains his starting berth albeit on the wing with Olivier Giroud up front to add the physicality we require. He’s also indepensible defending set pieces too.
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Theo Walcott gets the long-awaited nod after no minutes in four out of the last five games. With the injury to the Ox, there is no excuse not to field the Englishman and put West Ham’s backline on the back foot. They struggled with our pace over the festive season so let’s get at them.
Here is our predicted lineup:
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