The teams have been announced for our Premier League clash with Manchester United, and Arsene Wenger has made three massive changes to the side.
Petr Cech keeps his place in the side, but the defence ahead of him has changed slightly. The balance of power seems to be shifting somewhat, with Gabriel Paulista potentially now being preferred ahead of Per Mertesacker. The Brazilian starts alongside Laurent Koscielny, with Wenger returning him to the side after his return from injury.
Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin naturally start either side, with Kieran Gibbs on the bench and no sign of Calum Chambers.
Francis Coquelin and Aaron Ramsey start in midfield, with Wenger naming arguably our strongest midfield pairing. Mathieu Flamini is missing from the squad entirely, with his Barcelona debacle clearly effecting things.
Mesut Özil is obviously starting at No.10, and hopefully he can have more of an impact at Old Trafford than he did at the Emirates in midweek. We should enjoy far more possession, so hopefully the German playmaker can prove the difference.
Alexis Sanchez keeps his place despite a serious goal drought, with Wenger clearly looking to play our talisman into form. He’s still been performing well, but his goal radar definitely needs re-calibrating.
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There are two changes up front though, with Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck starting. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is unavailable, but Olivier Giroud has been relegated to the bench. The Frenchman has been struggling for goals recently, while Welbeck has been in fine form since his return from injury.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 28, 2016
The Manchester United team is as follows:
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 28, 2016
It’s a real blow to see David de Gea back in the side, as when he’s on form he’s capable of singlehandedly deciding a game. We’ve seen him go ‘God mode‘ in the past and keep ridiculous shots out of the net, and hopefully he doesn’t have a stormer once again.
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United are riddled with injuries, so this should be a really winnable game. They haven’t been the same team under Louis van Gaal, but that doesn’t mean we can take them for granted. We will still need to be at our best, and hopefully Welbeck can do a job against his old side.