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Wenger To Make 6 Changes: Predicted Arsenal XI To Face Preston
Arsenal will look to book their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup when we take on Preston North End at Deepdale on Saturday evening.
Here is the side I think Arsene Wenger will select for the game:
Goalkeeper: The boss confirmed at his press conference earlier today that David Ospina will start the game so Petr Cech will make way between the sticks.
Defence: Laurent Koscielny is also set to be handed a rest after being forced off during our 3-3 draw at Bournemouth with severe cramp so Gabriel is expected to line-up in the middle of defence.
Shkodran Mustafi may also be rested with Rob Holding given a rare chance to impress while Carl Jenkinson could also be recalled at right-back in order to give Hector Bellerin an opportunity to recover from a niggling ankle problem that he’s been carrying.
Kieran Gibbs has been ruled out as he continues to recover from a knee injury which he picked up against Crystal Palace last weekend so Nacho Monreal will retain his place at left-back.
Midfield: Our options in midfield are extremely limited as Mohamed Elneny is off to the African Cup of Nations while Francis Coquelin has been ruled out for at least three weeks after picking up a hamstring injury at Bournemouth.
Santi Cazorla is still some way from full fitness following ankle surgery so unless Wenger is going to field one of the youngsters, he’ll have little choice but to bring Aaron Ramsey back in to the middle of the park to partner Granit Xhaka.
Attack: The boss has also confirmed that Alexis Sanchez will be rested this weekend while Theo Walcott is still recovering from a calf injury that’s kept him out of the last three games.
Mesut Ozil returned to London Colney today to be assessed by the doctor after missing the last two matches with the flu but the German international won’t be involved against Preston this weekend.
Lucas Perez is also a doubt after picking up an ankle injury on Tuesday night but Danny Welbeck could be back in the squad as he looks to make his first appearance in seven months.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to join Alex Iwobi in attack while Jeff Reine-Adelaide could be given another chance to impress having featured in the League Cup this season. Olivier Giroud is expected to once again lead the line up front after salvaging a point at Bournemouth with a late header.
Here is how I think we’ll see Arsenal line-up: