Wenger’s Selection Dilemma Ahead Of Premier League Opener vs. Leicester City


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Arsenal go into the game on Friday as Community Shield holders, and determined to have a positive start to the Premier League season.

The Gunners have made it a habit to crumble on the seasons opening day and then suffer the subsequent fan meltdown. That can simply not happen again. A home game against Leicester City is a chance to start the right way, but it cannot be taken for granted, as we’ve seen the likes of West Ham and Aston Villa take advantage of a complacent Arsenal side on previous opening days. The H2H stats show that the Gunners have won the last six home games against the Foxes, and with that in mind, you should consider the 1/2 odds that the most famous bookmakers, including NetBet, offer on a home win.

Despite beating Chelsea on Sunday, Arsene clearly is still not too sure about how his side will line up for the Premier League opener. In defence, it’s a tough call, with Laurent Koscielny suspended and Skhodran Mustafi still lacking fitness, both of Arsenal’s starting central defenders from last season could be unavailable. That means Rob Holding, Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal are likely to be the three central defenders. Sead Kolasinac scored on his debut, and should surely start as left wing back against Leicester City, whilst Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Hector Bellerin will have to battle it out for the right wing back slot.

In midfield, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Francis Coquelin are all injured, so Mohammed Elneny and Granit Xhaka – who both performed well against Chelsea, are almost certain to start in central midfield.

Ahead of them, it gets a little trickier. Mesut Ozil is a doubt, as is Alexis Sanchez. Wenger will surely at least want his star duo on the bench as options, but who starts is anyone’s guess. Alexandre Lacazette looks likely to start as a center forward and he will be keen to get his first Premier League goal in this fixture. Walcott, Welbeck and Iwobi are amongst the others to contend for the wide forward slots – so it will be interesting to see what Wenger opts for. It’s also possible that Wenger could opt to combine Lacazette with Giroud in attack.