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- 4-2-3-1 v Reading: Perez & Jeff start – My Arsenal starting XI
TEAM: My Preferred Starting Line-Up vs Sunderland – No Ozil
Arsenal get back to domestic matters when we play Sunderland at the Emirates tomorrow.
Arsene Wenger has already confirmed he’ll make changes from the side that lost 2-0 to Bayern on Wednesday, as the game would have taken a lot out of the players.
Goalkeeper: Wojciech Szczesny was unfortunately sent off against Bayern on Wednesday but he will still be selected ahead of Lukasz Fabianski tomorrow.
Defence: With such a tough run of games coming up, this could be a good opportunity to give Bacary Sagna a rest and start Carl Jenkinson at right-back. No disrespect to Sunderland but Bac’s going to need a breather at some point and this is the only game out of the next eight fixtures I’d be comfortable playing without him.
Nacho Monreal will start at left-back with Kieran Gibbs missing out with a buttock injury sustained against Bayern, and with Vermaelen also injured, Mertesacker and Koscielny will continue their partnership together.
Midfield: Mikel Arteta returns from suspension and I’d expect he’ll come straight in with Mathieu Flamini dropping out. Jack Wilshere played superbly on Wednesday and it’s important he gets a run of games under his belt to get him back on top form.
Attack: There has been a lot of talk about Mesut Ozil after his performance on Wednesday. He was looking up for it prior to his penalty miss but you could see his head drop after it and I think we should take him out of the firing line. He’s taken a lot of unnecessary stick and he looks low on confidence, so let’s give him a rest and try and get him refreshed ahead of the big run of games coming up.
With Ozil rested, Santi Cazorla could move into a more central role with Lukas Podolski coming in on the left to give us a much-needed goal threat. The Ox should also keep his place on the right, so we’ll have some pace as well to hurt Sunderland with.
Olivier Giroud was surprisingly left out against Munich but the boss has hinted he’ll recall the Frenchman tomorrow meaning youngster Yaya Sanogo will drop back to the bench.
This is the team I’d go with:
The side has good balance and we have a good mix of creative, pace and goals in the trio behind Giroud. Let’s hope we can secure all three points and keep the pressure on Chelsea.
What do you think of my team?