Arsenal vs Leeds: Injury News, Preferred Line-up & Predicted Score
Arsenal get their FA Cup campaign underway against Leeds Utd tomorrow at the Emirates, here’s a preview of the game including preferred line-up & predicted score
Arsenal get their FA Cup campaign underway against Championship side Leeds Utd tomorrow at the Emirates with much of the pre-match talk surrounding the return of Thierry Henry.
The Gunners legend has returned to the club on loan and will most likely take his place amongst the substitutes tomorrow. Personally, i’m thrilled to see TH14 back in the Red & White but i hope he isn’t the only attacker Arsene is planning on bringing in this January.
The boss has stated he will play a strong side but i still expect a number of changes to be made. We’ve had a busy period of games and a few of the lads deserve a rest. Arteta and Ramsey in particular could do with a breather as they looked knackered during the second half against Fulham.
Johan Djourou is suspended, while Vermaelen, Wilshere, Diaby, Sagna, Jenkinson, Santos and Gibbs are still out through injury. I haven’t heard much about the return of Fabianski from injury, so can only assume Almunia will take his place between the sticks. Robin van Persie will definitely be left out and Gervinho is off on international duty for Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations. However, Marouanne Chamakh is able to take part after being allowed to delay his departure.
With so many injuries at the back, it’s difficult to see how Arsene can rest anybody but i think one of Mertesacker or Koscielny should be left out to lessen the risk of further injury or suspension to a first team regular. Leeds are a decent side but have injury problems of their own so i think we could get away with naming a largely second-string eleven. Here’s the team i’d like to see put out.
Coquelin Squillaci Koscielny Miquel
Chamberlain Benayoun Arshavin
Chamberlain certainly deserves a start and with Gervinho gone Arshavin should come in on the left. With the lack of alternatives up front, Chamakh will have to replace Van Persie. Benayoun and Rosicky should come in for Arteta and Ramsey. Ideally Alex Song would also be given a rest but due to limited options, he’ll most likely have to play. Thierry Henry should be given at least 30 minutes regardless of the scoreline.
That’s the team i’d go for, but i have a feeling Arsene Wenger will pick a more established side. With the exception of Van Persie, who we know will certainly be rested, Wenger may go with a more familiar first choice eleven. Whatever team the boss goes with, i just hope he gives young Chamberlain a chance because he deserves it, and Theo has been disappointing of late.
Arsenal’s second string will be pushed all the way by Leeds. Of course we could put out our strongest eleven and win the game with relative ease, but that risks injuries and suspensions that we can ill-afford right now so it’s a wise decision to rest the big-guns. I can still see us progressing though, and i’m going for 2-1 to The Arsenal. Perhaps Thierry Henry coming off the bench to grab the winner?!
What team would you put out for the game? Leave your opinions in the comments section.
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