With a deep squad and four competitions to play in, it’s rarely easy to predict the Arsenal XI.

Currently, there aren’t too many injuries. Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck are out long term, but Laurent Koscielny is the only other doubt for Saturday’s game against Watford.

The French defender missed the international break but could return, if he passed a fitness test on Thursday. Arsenal will be eager to get him minutes before the visit of Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Petr Čech will start in goal, and we can expect Gabriel and Per Mertesacker to play with Koscielny a doubt. Barring a surprise, Spaniards Nacho Monreal and Héctor Bellerín will complete the defence.

French midfielder Francis Coquelin will be partnered by Santi Cazorla, fresh from scoring his first competitive international goals since 2009.

Ahead of them, Mesut Özil will be pulling the strings flanked by Aaron Ramsey and – should he be available – Alexis Sánchez. The Chilean has scored nine in his last five games for club and country, but suffered a hip injury and a groin injury against Manchester United. He played twice for Chile regardless (scoring three goals) but Arsène Wenger will be concerned by the Chilean’s fitness.

Whether or not he is actually fully fit, Alexis is likely to play anyway.

Olivier Giroud scored twice on international duty, but it is unlikely to be enough to displace Theo Walcott from the starting 11 on Saturday, who also scored for England.


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Usually found watching or talking about English or German football. Interested in tactics (but often despairing a lack of them). Favourite players: Bergkamp, Arteta, Özil