Arsenal only arrived back home from Greece in the early hours of Thursday morning.
After the players put in such a huge effort against Olympiacos in midweek, Arsène Wenger must be tempted to rotate his squad, but there’s only one issue: he hasn’t got much of a squad right now.
At Friday’s press conference, the boss said there are no new injuries. However, there are also no players returning, meaning the manager’s options are still limited.
After beating Sunderland 3-1 last weekend, Wenger named 10 of the same players for the 3-0 Champions League win. Theo Walcott came in for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and those two players are likely to be the only decision Wenger will have to make again on Sunday; the rest of the team more or less picks itself.
Petr Čech will start in goal, just one clean sheet short of matching the Premier League record of former Villa goalkeeper David James. After a stellar performance at Olympiacos, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker will start at centre-half once again.
Since returning from injury, Héctor Bellerín has struggled to find his top form, but improved in Wednesday’s second half. He and Nacho Monreal will once again line up. It’s clear that this is Wenger’s favoured defence, and for good reason.
Shielding them will be the double pivot of Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey. If either player is unavailable, Calum Chambers is the only alternative at the base of the midfield.
If fit Mesut Özil will play ahead of the midfield pair, but he missed training on Tuesday and reportedly had a tight calf before our Champions League clash. In hisabsence, Ramsey would be expected to play higher up the pitch.
Costa Rican winger Joel Campbell will keep his place, after earning his stripes in recent weeks. A goal against Sunderland a week ago was followed by a good performance and superb assist against former loan club Olympiacos.
Theo Walcott played from the start for the first time since mid-October in midweek, so may not be ready to start again, opening the door for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to return. Midweek hat-trick hero Olivier Giroud is certain to start up front again.