Arsenal return to Premier League action after FA Cup excitement last weekend and they will be looking to continue their good domestic form. With a crucial Champions League tie in Monaco coming up, changes will be made in order to ensure that the best side is available on Tuesday.
Goalkeeper: After second-choice stopper Wojciech Szczesny featured, and was shaky, during last weekend’s victory at Old Trafford, we would expect David Ospina to resume his role in goal. He’s much more confident and reliable between the sticks that Szczesny and needs a decent game ahead of a trip to France.
Right-Back: Hector Bellerin has been one of the stand-out performers for Arsenal this season and there is no reason for him to miss out here. He was unlucky to be booked for his first tackle on Monday evening and will need to show that it was a mistake and that he does not have disciplinary problems.
Centre-Back: With Gabriel Paulista out injured, the only real choice in defence is Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. However an injury to either of these defenders would create problems ahead of the Monaco game, which means it’ll be surprising to see the duo both feature for the full ninety minutes.
Left-Back: Nacho Monreal has come leaps and bounds this season, showing that he is not the surplus to requirements defender many thought he is. His opening goal against Manchester United last week would have done him the world of good and Arsenal can look forward to more positive performances.
Defensive Midfield: Francis Coquelin has earned his regular starting spot in central midfield and should continue in this role, with a new partner. Aaron Ramsey returned off the bench last week and could be a potential match winner in the Champions League, so it is pivotal we ensure he has a start under his belt before that big game.
Right-Wing: Alexis Sanchez has been Arsenal’s golden boy this season and he has the capabilities to cause havoc for opposition defences week in, week out. West Ham is no exception and he should start to ensure we get the three points required, before being hauled off in the second-half to ensure fitness for the Monaco game.
Central Midfield: Santi Cazorla has played in a deeper role in recent weeks due to injury and has impressed but his performances going forward against Manchester United show just how crucial he is in this role. He can be the supporting midfielder for the talented attack, that needs to find form ahead of a trip to Monaco where the Gunners need three goals.
Left-Wing: It’s true that Mesut Ozil is more effective in the middle of the park but the fact of the matter is Santi Cazorla is in better form. Arsenal need to use this game to work out Ozil’s effectiveness on the left and then use his performance to decide where he should start, or if he should, against Monaco.
Striker: Olivier Giroud was dropped for the visit to Manchester United and should return here to continue his recent form, with the only blip being the home game against Monaco. A decent performance will cement his first-team spot but a poor one could see Welbeck take his spot for the Champions League.