After the midweek monstrosity, Arsenal face a trip to Wales for their Super Sunday fixture. Garry Monk’s Swansea are the opponents, often proving tricky ones, especially at the Liberty Stadium. Last season’s fixture saw Arsenal run out 2-1 winners with important goals from Gnabry and Ramsey. Last season saw the Gunners sit top of the Premier League, playing in full-flow with such confidence. Now, with a weakened mentality and sharpness, a completely different team looks set to start in Wales.
Despite the impressive additions of Alexis Sanchez and Calum Chambers, there is a staleness within the squad and its recent performances. Changes certainly need to be made in this Arsenal side, and Wenger isn’t one to shy away from ruthlessness. In 2012/13 Munich, Wenger dropped Szczesny and Vermaelen ahead of the vital Champions League victory over Bayern. Proving it’s worth back then, the squad could sure do with a shape-up in time for Sunday’s game.
In terms of team-news, Theo Walcott looks to make his highly anticipated return after being selected in Hodgson’s abundance of Arsenal players for the England team. With him playing ten minutes against Burnley last weekend, he looks set to start as Wenger added: “He is in the squad. He can start if I decide to start him.” His inclusion will add pace and dynamism to the Arsenal front-line, offering a wider threat than just Alexis Sanchez. Jack Wilshere is set to return after his illness that might see him dispossess the out-of-form Aaron Ramsey. Wenger added this on Ramsey: “He has to keep his priorities right. He needs to help the team. It’s not about goalscoring.” Mikel Arteta looks to be sidelined for three weeks with a hamstring injury so Mathieu Flamini will surely displace the Spaniard.
The debate suggesting that Chambers should partner Mertesacker at center-half has gathered pace once more, signalling rumours that Bellerin is set to start at right-back. These acquisitions however may seem risky, as Monreal hasn’t performed woefully, whilst Bellerin is only 19. It’s good news on the injury front as Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud look set the be back for the United game on the 22nd, but unfortunately not this week.
With the aforementioned taken into consideration, I think we can expect the following line-up:
DF: Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs
MF: Wilshere, Flamini
RM/LM: Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
ST: Alexis, Welbeck
The 442 formation which looks to have improved Arsenal’s attacking weaknesses. Alexis is the stand out star, but watch out for Theo Walcott, who looks set to come back with a bang. Arsene Wenger didn’t rule out him starting the game on Friday.