Arsenal hosts local rivals Chelsea in a London derby on Sunday at Emirates Stadium. The game is touted as a litmus test for the Gunners’ title credentials.
The North London club will be looking forward to avenging the controversial defeat at Stamford Bridge while the Blues would aim put some points on the board and get away from the relegation zone.
Arsene Wenger confirmed that Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are fit for the game; however, the Frenchman might prefer to opt for a cautious route with the Chilean and put him on the bench.
Arsene Wenger confirmed in his press conference: “Compared to last week we have no big problems from the squad that was available to face Stoke. The good news is that Ozil will certainly be available. For Alexis, the next few days will be decisive but I think this time he will make it to be available for selection.”
Tomas Rosicky, Francis Coquelin and Danny Welbeck are close to match-fitness, but this game will come too soon for them.
Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla are still ruled out due to injuries.
Predicted Line up [4-3-2-1]
Petr Cech is one of the first names on the team sheet.
Arsene Wenger doesn’t like to experiment with his defence much. Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker will be the centre-back pairing; Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal will start as full-backs.
Mathieu Flamini has struggled in recent games, but the only remaining option for the position is new arrival Mohamed Elneny; it’s highly unlikely that Wenger will give the Egyptian his debut in such a crucial game, so expect Flamini to start.
Aaron Ramsey will partner Flamini in the midfield. Mesut Ozil will make his return to the first team and start in the attacking midfield position.
Joel Campbell deserves his place in the team on the basis of his recent performances. Wenger might be tempted to give Alexis Sanchez his first start in two months on the opposite flank, but one might guess that Theo Walcott will start instead.
Olivier Giroud will lead the attacking lines.
Predicted Line up [4-3-2-1]: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Ozil, Campbell, Walcott, Giroud.