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Ramsey out: The Arsenal XI that should start vs Stoke
Premier League football returns after the interlull as Arsenal entertain Stoke City at the Emirates tomorrow afternoon. Here is the team I’d like to see Arsene Wenger pick for the game….
No decision to be made here. Cech will start in goal.
Defence: Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal
Koscielny is available after taking part in full training despite missing France’s win over Serbia on Monday with a back injury. Mertesacker is also back after missing our last two games with a virus, but should the German come straight back in?
Ordinarily I’d say no and stick with Gabriel – who’s been excellent recently. However, this is Stoke we’re up against and we need Mertesacker’s height to help cope with their aerial threat and we also need his experience to deal with the type of match we all know this will be.
Bellerin and Monreal are Arsene’s first choice full-backs and it’s hard to argue with that, so both should keep their places.
Midfield: Cazorla, Coquelin
The boss needs to make a decision and start one of Cazorla or Ramsey. I’m tired of seeing Rambo played out of position on the right. It unbalances the team and we don’t get the best out of him.
So the boss needs to make a brave call and drop someone. Cazorla has struck up an excellent partnership with Coquelin over the past 9 months so it’s difficult to see how we can break them up, meaning Ramsey’s the one who should miss out.
Attack: Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud
With Ramsey out, I’d start Walcott on the right. The Ox would be another option but Theo has far more of a goal threat, so he’d get the nod for me. Ozil and Sanchez should obviously start alongside him in attack.
Giroud got booed by his own French fans in midweek so he could be low on confidence, but we need his physical threat against Stoke, so he should lead the line up front.
So this is how I’d line-up:
In reality, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the boss stick with Ramsey on the right and Gabriel could also keep his place at the back. Either way, we should have more than enough to get the three points against Stoke.
What would be your team for the game?