After three Premier League games without finding the back of the net, most managers may be tempted to change the side about a bit.
But not Arsène Wenger. Not much, anyway. Sunday sees Arsenal travel to Bournemouth, and you can expect the Arsenal manager to pick a similar team to the one that drew 0-0 with Southampton after insisting the goals will come back soon.
The Frenchman could, however, look to alter the defence. Per Mertesacker hasn’t played since the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea two weeks ago, but Gabriel’s performances at the back against Burnley and Southampton haven’t been terribly convincing. Has the Brazilian failed to take his chance?
If so, we’ll see the usual back five together once again, with Petr Čech behind the defensive pairing of Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. Spaniards Héctor Belleriín and Nacho Monreal will almost certainly flank them: between them they’ve missed just three Premier League games all season (Monreal has appeared in every match but came off the bench when we hosted Bournemouth in December).
In midfield, Aaron Ramsey must keep his spot so it’s a question of who to pair him with. Using Mathieu Flamini alongside the Welshman continues to baffle, but Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny should both now be ready to step in. Coquelin and Ramsey have only played with each other at the base of the midfield for 45 minutes all season, when the idea was scrapped after half a game against West Ham United. (Why Calum Chambers hasn’t played there since impressing against Sunday’s opponents only Wenger knows.)
Mesut Özil will play in his number 10 role and Alexis Sánchez will play from the left, leaving the same conundrum as midweek: two places for Olivier Giroud, Joel Campbell and Theo Walcott.
Considering our opponents, Wenger may try to use Walcott up front to stretch the play, but Giroud impressed in the home game against Bournemouth. Campbell, meanwhile, has seen his form plummet after a brief period of really impressing through December and January. We assume Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain isn’t in the reckoning, so expect Wenger to play it safe and go with Campbell and Giroud once more.