Following the latest team news from manager Arsene Wenger, Arsenal finally look to have their squad back in order after the recent return of both Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere.
The boss has always been keen to mix things up a bit in the FA Cup, with the most noticeable change being between the sticks. The likelihood of seeing Nacho Monreal and Francis Coquelin are high, after the pair passed tests to feature in Monday nights game.
Wenger has the ability to rotate a number of positions now, with the versatile options we have in our squad depth. It ultimately comes down to whether he wants to change a side who have four consecutive wins in the league, and ultimately look to be the majority of players in form.
This Arsenal side need to settle early and understand each others roles, which is why they need to make just two changes to the side that faced QPR in mid-week.
Goalkeeper: For no other reason than the fact it’s an FA Cup game, David Ospina will retire to the bench whilst he makes way for Wojech Szczesny, who hasn’t played first team football since the win over Brighton in January. The Pole has a point to prove, and what better way to do it than facing the team he made his Premier League debut against back in 2010.
Right-Back: This is always a tough position for Arsenal to cover with the long-term injury of Matthieu Debuchy. Hector Bellerin has found his form again, but Callum Chambers offers a protection you just don’t get with the Spaniard. I think Wenger will want to maintain an attacking side, and Bellerin will get the call to challenge Luke Shaw’s pace down the right-wing.
Centre Back: You can’t really look at any other option than the partnership of Koscielny and Mertesacker. The recent injury to Gabriel has given Mertesacker the chance to come back into the starting eleven after a two-game lay off.
Left Back: It has to be Kieran Gibbs at the full back position for me. The Englishman adds something to his game that Monreal doesn’t, and that is having the ability to get back and forward up the line. Monreal offers protection, but we need to start this game with some bite, and that comes in the form of Gibbs.
Centre Defensive Midfield: It’s easy to rush back one of your star men when they’ve just picked up a frustrating injury, but for Aaron Ramsey it has to be a different story. The Welshman featured in the QPR game on Wednesday night and looked settled again. Coquelin will partner Ramsey and continue his overly impressive form so far this year.
Right Wing: It has to be the man in form at the moment, Mesut Ozil. The German missed a significant amount of the opening period of the season, and since returning he has lit up the pitch.
Centre Attacking Mid: I’m almost getting tired of writing out his name each week, but yet again the little Spaniard needs to start in a side that have to attack against this vulnerable United defence. With the return of Rosicky and Ramsey, it allows Cazorla to play higher up the pitch which is something we saw against QPR. His added ability of shooting from the edge of the area will hand United keeper, David de Gea, another component of this Arsenal attack to deal with.
Left Wing: His goal against QPR was his first since early January, and could be his most important all season. Alexis Sanchez deserves to start this one on Monday night, and his sheer desire to never quit is something that we missed in the game against Tottenham. He’s a game changer, but we all know that.
Striker: Do you really want to start debating who deserves to start up top? Olivier Giroud has grabbed a vital goal in both games since that Monaco performance and he needs this game to show he’s capable of doing it against the big boys. His heading ability will come in handy against smaller opponents like Rojo and Luke Shaw, but the main thing he adds to this game is his link up play with Cazorla, which is second to none after the two have racked up a number of games together.
Arsenal XI: Szczesny, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Coquelin, Ramsey, Ozil, Cazorla, Alexis, Giroud