33-Year-Old Starts As Wenger Makes 11 Changes | Expected Arsenal XI vs Southampton
Arsenal take on Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday afternoon. Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Arsene Wenger will select for the game:
Arsenal will be hoping to climb back in to the top four in the Premier League with a win over Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday afternoon.
Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Arsene Wenger will select for the game:
Goalkeeper: David Ospina was back between the sticks on Thursday night as he kept a clean sheet during the 6-0 thrashing of BATE but Petr Cech is set to return on Sunday.
Defence: The boss switched to a back four in the Europa League and it worked well but it was against very limited opposition so I can see him reverting to a back three away to Southampton.
We should see wholesale changes in defence with Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal set for recalls after being rested in the Europa League.
However, Shkodran Mustafi has been ruled out after suffering a thigh injury during the defeat to Manchester United last weekend so Wenger has a void to fill in the middle of the defence.
Rob Holding and Calum Chambers staked their claims with solid run-outs last night but I think Per Mertesacker will be the man to come in as the 33-year-old was rested against BATE.
Midfield: Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac are set for recalls after being given the night off so Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mathieu Debuchy are expected to drop out.
The switch to a back three means there will be one less space in midfield/attack but we should see Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka restored in the middle of the park with Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny making way.
Attack: Jack Wilshere excelled in the advanced attacking midfield role and he’s got to be knocking on the first team door but I still think he’ll find it difficult to displace Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez.
Wenger says he feels Jack is best suited to a more attacking role these days so he’s up against arguably our best two players for a place in the team which means he’ll probably have to make do with a sub role this weekend.
Theo Walcott produced his best performance of the season with a goal and two assists last night but again I don’t see him forcing his way in to Wenger’s starting eleven on a regular basis.
Olivier Giroud scored a neat penalty against BATE and was a handful but the French international is almost certain to make way for compatriot Alexandre Lacazette on Sunday.
Danny Welbeck put in a solid performance on Thursday night but his touch was still a little rusty so I think he’ll be back on the bench this weekend.
Here is how I think we’ll see Arsenal line-up:
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