Considering Arsene Wenger only has about five players to pick his starting XI from on Sunday, it’s actually pretty easy to guess who he’ll choose.
Basically everyone is injured at the moment. Olivier Giroud (hamstring), Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), Nacho Monreal (ankle), Sead Kolasinac (ankle) and Laurent Koscielny (Achilles) are all out until later in January.
Meanwhile, we lost Jack Wilshere, probably for another five years, during Arsenal’s thrilling 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge, so God knows when we’ll see him again. Sunday, possibly, according to Wenger. But that just sounds like crazy talk.
At the back, Wenger will probably reward Calum Chambers, Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding for their clean sheet against Chelsea. Not that he has many other options…
Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Hector Bellerin will once again step in at wing-back because, again, who else is going to play there?
Granit Xhaka will once again start in midfield alongside Mohamed Elneny, who will stand in for Jack, who might be back but probably won’t be. Without Francis Coquelin, we genuinely have no one else.
Meanwhile, Alexandre Lacazette, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will probably start in our attacking positions. They’re our strongest front three and I have a sneaking suspicion that Ozil will make a miraculous recovery after missing the Chelsea game with another ‘slight knee problem’. He’s due to have a fitness test on Saturday.
Predicted XI: Cech, Chambers, Mustafi, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Elneny, Bellerin, Alexis, Ozil, Laca.