Ahead of Arsenal’s match against Manchester City, we’re trying to predict how the Gunners will line up.
Wenger’s men face City on Sunday at 14:15 UK time, and it promises to be an extremely tough match considering the form Pep’s side are currently in. I’d therefore expect Arsène to play the strongest XI he possibly can, given the current state of injuries and players who need a rest after Thursday.
So without further ado, here’s the prediction:
Petr Čech. Ospina didn’t recover in time to even make the bench in the mid-week game, so he’s unlikely to come straight into the side against City. Unless Čech gets injured in the warm up or something, I can’t see anyone else starting.
Again, injuries should make this relatively straight-forward. Chambers probably won’t come straight back in and Mustafi is still out, so that leaves Mertesacker, Koscielny and Monreal as the only three centre-backs who didn’t play on Thursday.
The only alternative if Kolašinac is out (which as we mention below, seems likely), Monreal may be moved out wide. In that case, one of the defenders who played on Thursday would have to make another appearance, probably Rob Holding.
Hector Bellerín and Sead Kolašinac are Arsenal’s only senior wing-backs now that Monreal and Debuchy are centre-backs, but according to Twitter user @gunnerblog, K:lašinac may be out of the game:
Looks like Kolasinac is out tomorrow. I think there has to be a very real chance we see Iwobi at LWB. Don’t shoot the messenger, please.
— gunnerblog (@gunnerblog) November 4, 2017
No Kolasinac in training. The Arsenal defender did rejoin the group on Thursday – not sure if there's been a setback or another problem #AFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) November 4, 2017
As he mentions, that leaves the possibility that Iwobi could be played on the left, especially after he was left out on Thursday. That would be a risky move against such a strong attacking side, so I’d bet on Monreal playing on the left instead.
Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka were both rested in midweek and Coquelin, Wilshere and Elneny all played, so the pair should continue their run in the side as they have for most of this season.
Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil will hopefully both be available. Iwobi’s absence on Thursday at first raised doubts about whether he could be in line to replace one of them, but now it seems more likely he’s set to play as a wing-back, if he is involved.
Alexandre Lacazette should retain his place, and will hopefully add to his five goals in nine Premier League starts so far. Welbeck is still out and Olivier Giroud was another one who started on Thursday.
Predicted line up (3-4-2-1): Čech; Holding, Mertesacker, Koscielny; Monreal, Ramsey, Xhaka, Bellerín; Sanchez, Özil; Lacazette.