Wenger To Make 5 Changes: Predicted Arsenal XI To Face Stoke

By on December 8, 2016

shkodran mustafi arsenal

Arsenal will be looking to go top of the Premier League table when we entertain Stoke City at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon. Here is the side I think Arsene Wenger will select for the game:

Goalkeeper: Petr Cech is expected to be restored in goal this weekend after David Ospina once again came in for our Champions League win over Basel in midweek.

Defence: Hector Bellerin is facing a late fitness test after making a swift recovery from an ankle injury that was expected to keep him out until mid-December. However, with games against Everton and Manchester City coming up, Wenger may play it safe with the Spaniard and not rush him back.

Therefore, Gabriel could once again start at right-back while Shkodran Mustafi should come back in to the side to resume his partnership alongside Laurent Koscielny after being rested in midweek.

Kieran Gibbs will be hoping to keep his place after an assist-packed performance against Basel but I think we’ll see Nacho Monreal come back in at left-back.

Midfield: Granit Xhaka was excellent in the middle of the park on Tuesday night and has started in our last three Premier League and Champions League games so it looks as though Wenger is giving him a run of matches in the side.

Aaron Ramsey was the Swiss international’s partner last time out and I thought the partnership looked promising but the boss has the option to recall Francis Coquelin if he wants to freshen things up after he missed the Basel game through suspension.

Santi Cazorla remains out after undergoing surgery on an Achilles injury but Mohamed Elneny is available if needed.

Lucas Perez Arsenal

Attack: We put in another superb attacking display against Basel with Lucas Perez hitting the headlines after scoring a hat-trick. However, I have a feeling the Spanish hitman may find himself back on the bench on Saturday with Theo Walcott getting a recall. It may be harsh on Perez but he’s still got plenty of work to do to develop his all-round play before he’ll be considered as a first team starter on a regular basis.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could also come back in to the attack after being an unused substitute in midweek while Alexis Sanchez is expected to continue through the middle after another fine display against Basel.

Olivier Giroud is back in the squad and got 20 minutes under his belt in midweek after recovering from a groin injury but he’s likely to be an impact substitute again this weekend.

Here is how I think we’ll see Arsenal line-up:

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