The Premier League is back and Arsenal don’t have any injuries from the international break. Amazing!
Meanwhile, some players have not regained fitness to take part in Saturday’s visit to West Bromwich Albion, so Arsène Wenger once again looks scarce of options in midfield.
Fresh from becoming the joint record holder for Czech Republic caps, Petr Čech will be able to star in goal.
Héctor Bellerín could return to the back four after overcoming his groin injury, but Laurent Koscielny’s involvement is doubtful after he struggled on Tuesday night against England, with his mind still on the attacks in Paris a week ago.
“I will talk with him,” Arsène Wenger said on Thursday morning. “It’s a big game for us. I have not talked to him yet, but I will talk to him to see if he’s completely recovered and focused.”
Per Mertesacker will play, but may be joined by Gabriel if Wenger and Koscielny opt against the Frenchman starting. The back four should be completed by Nacho Monreal, who wasn’t called up for Spain and is fresh.
Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla should both also be relatively fresh and will make up the base of the Arsenal midfield, with Mesut Özil ahead of them.
Olivier Giroud is the only real option to start up front due to the absences of Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck. With Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also out, Wenger’s options out wide are extremely limited.
Alexis has just returned from 180 minutes in South America, while Joel Campbell also travelled a long way and started twice for Costa Rica. Perhaps Wenger will start Kieran Gibbs wide, after the Englishman scored against Spurs last time out.
PICTURE (Čech; Bellerín, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Monreal; Coquelin, Cazorla; Alexis, Özil, Gibbs; Giroud.)