Just to keep us guessing, Arsene Wenger reverted back to three at the back against Crystal Palace on Thursday and, with two first team players still sidelined, I reckon he’ll do something similar against West Brom on Sunday.
Although Olivier Giroud rarely gets to feature until after the 65th-minute, having the striker sidelined with a hamstring problem until mid-January is a problem when the fixture list is this congested.
The 31-year-old might have gotten the nod against Palace or the Baggies on Sunday, since Alexandre Lacazette still seems unable to complete an entire 90 minutes.
As it stands, Laca will get the nod up front again with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, playing like a new man, behind him again.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it etc etc.
Granit Xhaka and Jack Wilshere, I imagine, will also get starts in the absence of Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), as well as Hector Bellerin because he’s undroppable despite playing like he’s never seen a football before this season.
Interestingly, I reckon that Ainsley Maitland-Niles could start at left wing-back.
He got the nod ahead of Sead Kolasinac against Liverpool last weekend and did a good job.
What’s more, the Bosnia international was sloppy mid-week and the 20-year-old has had a rest.
Again, Shkodran Mustafi should start at centre-back, since he was our only decent defender against the Eagles.
Laurent Koscielny complete with dodgy Achilles will probably still be in there and Calum Chambers, despite looking out of his depth on Thursday, will most likely get another chance.
We all know that Arsene Wenger doesn’t like to knock these young players’ confidence and with Nacho Monreal sidelined, we don’t have a great deal of choice.
Predicted XI: Cech, Mustafi, Koscielny, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Jack, Bellerin, Alexis, Ozil, Lacazette.