So, here we are again. Another big Arsenal game naturally means more big decisions for Arsène Wenger to make.
The boss doesn’t generally like making changes after a win, and last weekend’s was an important one after four Premier League games without picking up all three points. However, he may be tempted this time around.
Petr Čech will, of course, start in goal for the Gunners, and the same defence will be ahead of him once again. Gabriel has nudged ahead of Per Mertesacker, especially in games against quick forwards, so expect the Brazilian to be in the backline to deal with Jamie Vardy. Laurent Koscielny will partner him in middle, with the ever-reliable Nacho Monreal and Héctor Bellerín flanking our centre-halves.
In midfield, it would be a huge shock to see the manager depart from using Aaron Ramsey, who was superb in the 2-0 defeat of Bournemouth, anywhere but centrally, but who will partner him? Mathieu Flamini has, to be frank, been doing a terrible job and Francis Coquelin should be ready to start now. It’s a big ask, but it’s a big game and I don’t know how comfortable anyone would be with starting Flamini.
Mesut Özil will be in his number 10 role, roaming free to try and find space between the lines. Should he manage to do that, he will be crucial to us. Alexis Sánchez will play to the left of the German, and now would be the perfect time to replicate the hat-trick he scored at the King Power Stadium back in September.
On the right, Wenger needs to choose between Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell. All three have struggled for form, but Chamberlain’s last two appearances brought a goal and an assist. He also offers the option to overload the midfield, unlike the two rivals for his shirt, so expect him to get the nod for the second league game in a row.
That leaves one spot for Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott to fight for. If Arsenal want to come out of the blocks, Walcott is the better option. However, Giroud is more adept at facing a deep and powerful backline, so I’m saying Wenger will stick with the Frenchman.