Heading into the FA Cup, Arsenal are top of the Premier League and are widely expected to rest players as a result.
The previous two seasons has seen Mesut Özil lining up against Coventry City, Brighton, and Middlesbrough in the earlier rounds of the competition, but the Gunners were desperate for a trophy and not looking too hot in the league.
Özil has helped us to two consecutive FA Cup wins and, having missed just one of the club’s 26 Premier League and Champions League games so far this season (at Newcastle back in August). Surely he’ll be rested when Sunderland come to visit on Saturday?
Well, maybe not. In Friday’s press conference, Arsène Wenger said he still wasn’t sure whether or not Özil would be rested.
Wenger says he “doesn’t know” if he will rest Ozil. Says Walcott doesn’t need a rest
— Simon Collings (@sr_collings) January 8, 2016
The German hasn’t been training as regularly as many of his teammates, and has managed to stay fit all season so far. However, Wenger may feel Arsenal can win without him on Saturday and rest him, especially with a game at Anfield coming up in midweek.
The news on Theo Walcott is less of a surprise, though he has started six games in a row since returning form injury in December. His inclusion could see him play up front, with Wenger giving Olivier Giroud a break and playing a more inexperienced player like Alex Iwobi or Jeff Reine-Adelaide on the wing.