With games coming thick and fast in the Premier League and FA Cup, Arsene Wenger couldn’t have asked for a better time to welcome back injured players.
In the space of two weeks, the Gunners boss has had Welbeck, Coquelin, Walcott, Gibbs and Bellerin come back into contention for some crucial games.
Although we’re likely to see a similar line-up to the one that cruised past Swansea 4-0 last weekend, Wenger will be thinking about games further on in the calendar.
Next week is a huge test with the trip down to Southampton in the fourth round of the FA Cup, whilst a trip to Chelsea and Bayern Munich are just around the corner.
But in order to keep this nice run of form going, we must ensure that the starting XI doesn’t get altered too much as we welcome a Burnley side who have picked up one point on the road.
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech
Wenger has made it pretty clear that he’ll stick with Cech in the league and Ospina in the cup’s, but when it comes to Bayern Munich there will be a big call to make.
Full-Backs: Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal
With the future of Jenkinson and Debuchy looking like they’ll both leave, we can now get used to Gabriel being the number two right-back in our ranks. However, Bellerin back fit and healthy proves a great chance to get some pace down the right hand side to break down this Burnley defence. Gibbs and Gabriel likely to be given a chance in the FA Cup.
Centre Backs: Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny
No arguments here really, our best option in defence and I’d love them to build some confidence ahead of having to defend against the likes of Lewandoski and Diego Costa. Holding, Gabriel and Mertesacker all options for next weekend.
Centre Defensive Midfield: Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka
Now I realise I mentioned Coquelin in the title of this blog, but these two have really looked like something else when thrown into the middle of the park. Especially in this game where Burnley sat back and defended so much in the return fixture, so Coquelin’s defensive duties won’t be needed as much. Throw in Ramsey who can be so creative through the lines, along with Xhaka’s long balls we should be fine.
Left Midfield: Alexis Sanchez
Arsenal fans need to stop worrying about this guy’s attitude on the pitch. He’s clearly wanting to reach the best of his ability and scoring goals is key to that. Sure, he’ll have less chances on the wing but with Giroud in the form he is, he’ll have to sit back again this time.
Centre Attacking Midfield: Mesut Ozil
A great player who’s learning to relax and enjoy his game a lot more this season. He’s sure to be rested for Iwobi next week so another big performance will be key.
Right Midfield: Lucas Perez
I’ve been really impressed whenever this guy has been thrown into action, and with so many options on the flanks it would be great to see Wenger mixing it up. He’s a goal-getter and will create chances, that’s apparent from his early days in an Arsenal shirt. Furthermore, a place at centre forward is up for grabs in the FA Cup tie.
Centre Forward: Olivier Giroud
I’m starting to lose count of how many goals this guy has scored in a row, but whether you love him or not Wenger can’t justify taking him out of the side. He’s been in training this week after shaking off a little kick picked up in the Swansea game.
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