Arsenal will start the defence of their FA Cup title today with the home match against Sunderland in the 3rd round of the cup.
Here’s the predicted line-Up (4-2-3-1):
Petr Cech will be given rest and David Ospina will start his first game after his howler in the Champions League game against Olympiacos.
Mathieu Debuchy is likely to feature for the Gunners for one last time before sealing his loan move. Kieran Gibbs will get the nod ahead of Nacho Monreal in the left-back position. Brazilian Gabriel will start at the centre of defence and experienced German centre-back Per Mertesacker will partner him.
Mikel Arteta played 45 minutes for the U-21 side last week and he is expected to start his first game after overcoming his injury. He will be partnered by Calum Chambers in the centre of midfield. Arsene Wenger will use this opportunity to provide much-needed rest to the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil. My guess is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be given an opportunity to impress in the number ten role.
Wenger hinted in his pre-match conference that Theo Walcott will start the game. He said: “Not really,” he said. “Ozil I don’t know but Walcott is not overloaded with games. He hasn’t played too many since the start of the season; he has been out for a while so it doesn’t look like he needs a rest.”
So expect the Englishman to lead the Gunners attack in the game. Youngster Alex Iwobi and Costa Rica international Joel Campbell will support him from the flanks.
Predicted XI: Ospina; Debuchy, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Gibbs; Arteta, Chambers, Campbell, Chamberlain, Iwobi; Walcott.