After fielding a massively rotated starting XI against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, who will Arsene Wenger start in the League Cup against Chelsea?
Now that Arsenal have already exited the FA Cup, it’s likely that Wenger will go all out for the first leg of the League Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
The boss is obviously limited with his options since Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), Olivier Giroud (hamstring), Laurent Koscielny (Achilles), Sead Kolasinac (ankle) and Nacho Monreal (ankle) are all sidelined. Granit Xhaka (groin) and Shkodran Mustafi both face late fitness tests.
I think we’ll see a strong team. Well, as strong as possible.
At the back, if Mustafi is passed fit, he’ll definitely start since he’s been Arsenal’s only half decent centre-back this season. Hector Bellerin and Calum Chambers were both rested against Forest so they will probably feature at the Bridge.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who has been one of Arsenal best players recently, will likely fill in for Sead Kolasinac. To be fair, the 20-year-old would probably start even if the Bosnian was fit.
Granit Xhaka will start in midfield along with Jack Wilshere. There’s also no reason not to start our strongest front three of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette. We need this win, and Wenger himself said Alexis is in contention.
The position most difficult to predict is centre-back. Per Mertesacker was poor on Sunday and admits he can’t play more than once a week. But everyone else, apart from Rob Holding, is injured, leaving Wenger with little choice.
Predicted XI: Cech, Per, Mustafi, Chambers, Bellerin, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Jack, Ozil, Alexis, Lacazette.