Ahead of the game against Chelsea on Sunday, we’re having a look at the possible line-up for the Gunners.
Although this still isn’t officially a competitive fixture, it’s likely that the Gunners will play their strongest possible XI to try and add some minor silverware to the cabinet as well as to prepare for the league season in just a week’s time.
It’s also very likely that Arsenal will stick with the three at the back formation that served them so well towards the end of last season. With all that in mind, here is the most likely team to start:
Still the Gunners’ number 1, and now with even less competition than he had before, there’s no reason why Petr Čech shouldn’t start against his former club.
Laurent Koscielny won’t be suspended for this one, so he’s likely to be involved. Holding has only played a few minutes since returning, so he’s the most likely to miss out from the trio that played in May. Mertesacker and Monreal will probably be the other two, with Mustafi only just returning and Gabriel still not fully fit.
New signing Kolašinac put in one of the performances of the weekend during the Emirates Cup, and with Monreal probably filling in at centre-back, he should be an obvious choice for this position. Oxlade-Chamberlain will probably play on the right, with Bellerín another who has just returned from his holiday.
Ramsey and Xhaka are the obvious choices here. They played in the final, they’ve had a full pre-season, Ramsey apparently picked up a knock last weekend but Wenger says he’ll be alright for this one. Cazorla and Coquelin are out, Elneny has been playing at centre-back, Wilshere is just back. There isn’t much competition right now.
Özil is another who Wenger said picked up a knock, but who should be available again. The other forward is probably the most uncertain position. Alexis will play if he’s ready, but if not it could be Iwobi, who had a great pre-season, Welbeck or Walcott. There are a variety of options.
As long as it isn’t Lacazette out wide, the Gunners fans won’t be too upset. Alexis is unlikely to pass up the chance to play, so we’ll assume he’s in.
Club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette seems most likely, but Giroud has also been performing well in pre-season, so it’s not certain. Both have scored two goals, and the decision may depend on who is available to play alongside them.
So the final predicted line-up is as follows (3-4-2-1): Čech; Monreal, Mertesacker, Koscielny; Kolašinac, Ramsey, Xhaka, Ox; Alexis, Özil; Lacazette