Back to FA Cup duty, and we already know Arsène Wenger is planning on rotating for Tuesday evening’s game against Hull City.
With a busy schedule, Arsenal could do with rotating against the Tigers but Arsène Wenger will want to put out a strong enough side to advance to a quarter-final against Watford.
Cup goalkeeper David Ospina played very well in Saturday’s north London derby and will definitely keep his place in the absence of Petr Čech. In front of him don’t expect the defence to change too much.
Laurent Koscielny is out, meaning Calum Chambers is the only alternative to the weekend partnership of Per Mertesacker and Gabriel. However, Héctor Bellerín is likely to be rested and Chambers will be needed at right-back, meaning the centre-halves will both start once again. On the left, Kieran Gibbs should start again as Nacho Monreal was relegated to the bench with a minor calf issue at the weekend. There is simply no need to take risks.
One of the best aspects of Saturday’s 2-2 draw was the full Premier League debut of Mohamed Elneny, whose performance was excellent. The midfielder is likely to start his third consecutive FA Cup fixture at the KC Stadium, but he won’t be partnered by Francis Coquelin this time around, as the Frenchman is suspended.
That means a start is likely for Mathieu Flamini, who still exists. The third central midfielder is probably going to be Alex Iwobi. The Nigerian international has impressed in the previous cup matches this season and should be given the nod once more as Wenger looks to rest Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Özil.
Also rested should be Alexis Sánchez and Danny Welbeck. The boss could be tempted to stick with Alexis after a first Premier League goal since October at the weekend, but he will also want the Chilean prepared for Arsenal’s run-in. Danny Welbeck’s form has been excellent of late and Saturday was no different, but Arsenal would be smart to be cautious with his fitness.
That means place up top and out wide are up for grabs, so expect Joel Campbell, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud to be given them. There is plenty of pace, hard work, aerial threat and finishing ability between the trio: can they find it? If so, you would fancy Arsenal to progress and face a quarter-final against Watford this coming weekend.