Arsenal’s first team players are dropping like flies, leaving Arsene Wenger’s potential starting XI against Chelsea anyone’s guess.
Arsenal’s latest casualties are Laurent Koscielny (ankle) and Sead Kolasinac (knee).
Both players were subbed off during Arsenal’s 1-1 draw away to West Brom on New Year’s Eve and are doubts for the Chelsea clash at the Emirates on Wednesday.
Add those two to Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), probably Mesut Ozil (knee), Nacho Monreal (ankle) and Olivier Giroud (hamstring), and we’ve got problems… as the performance at the Hawthorns showed.
Up front, Alexandre Lacazette should start and Alexis Sanchez – whether he should or not – will get the nod behind him.
Alex Iwobi was poor against West Brom and was subbed off for Danny Welbeck, so it’s possible that we could see the ex-Manchester United striker start mid-week.
In midfield, Granit Xhaka and Jack Wilshere are probably the best-equipped players to deal with Ramsey and Ozil’s absence. Although Mohamed Elneny is a choice, I don’t see Wenger deviating during such a big game unless Jack really needs a rest.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles will stand in for Kolasinac, which is somewhat of a relief since the 20-year-old has been far better than the former Schalke man when called upon recently.
Calum Chambers, I imagine, will be given another chance, Shkodran Mustafi is a no-brainer, and Per Mertesacker, despite being ‘past it’, might help add some experience to the back line.
I’d be surprised to see Rob Holding start against Chelsea…
Predicted XI: Cech, Chambers, Mustafi, Mertesacker, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Wilshere, Bellerin, Welbeck, Alexis, Lacazette.