Arsenal face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday, as the Premier League season draws to a close this week.
2Team news and predicted line-up
Arsene Wenger hinted in his pre-match press conference that he might rotate a bit, given the two matches on the Sundays either side of the game, and the fact some players played in Madrid and on Sunday.
We know for sure that four players won’t start: Santi Cazorla, Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Özil and Mohamed Elneny. They’re all recovering from injury problems at the moment.
“We have four players who are out, if you count Cazorla,” said Wenger. “Koscielny, Ozil and Elneny. Everybody else we will check today (Tuesday) because we had an off day on Monday.”
Who does that leave?
In goal, I’d expect Petr Cech to start again. He kept a clean sheet at the weekend, and usually plays the Premier League matches.
I think Hector Bellerin will get a rest, after four consecutive starts in 11 days. Calum Chambers will probably replace him on the right. Ainsley Maitland-Niles could also do the job, but I’d expect him to play in midfield. Nacho Monreal will likely return on the left after a rest at the weekend, and Mustafi should also be back.
That leaves Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos as options for the other centre-back. It’s really a 50/50 call, as Mavropanos has played very well so far, but Holding hasn’t had a game for a while. I have a feeling the Greek centre-back will play, but it’s just a feeling.
Granit Xhaka has started a lot recently, but Arsenal don’t really have a replacement for him right now. He’ll therefore probably keep his place, with Aaron Ramsey and Ainsley Maitland-Niles coming into the team. Wilshere needs a rest, as you can tell by the fact he comes off early every game at the moment.
I’d like to see the likes of Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock, but we won’t. The trio will play in the Premier League International Cup final on Tuesday night instead.
That leaves Danny Welbeck, Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi. I think Iwobi will play in the front three this time, with Aubameyang and Welbeck. Again, that’s to give Lacazette a rest after Madrid, and Mkhitaryan a break after his recent return from injury.
Next: Final XI