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Koscielny out? My Arsenal XI to take on West Brom
Premier League football returns after the interlull as Arsenal head to the Hawthorns to take on West Brom on Saturday afternoon. This is the eleven I’d go with:
Petr Cech should start, obviously.
Defence: Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal
Arsene has confirmed that Koscielny is a slight doubt as he’s been deeply affected by the terror attacks in Paris. He was on the pitch at the Stade de France when the atrocities took place and was visibly upset before the England game.
He was out-of-sorts during the loss at Wembley on Tuesday and the boss intends to speak to him to ensure he’s 100% focussed otherwise he says he’ll leave him out tomorrow. However, I’d be shocked if Kos wasn’t in the starting eleven this weekend.
Mertesacker and Monreal should keep their places in the defence and Bellerin is available for selection after recovering from his groin injury, but I’d start Debuchy at right-back. You’ll find out why shortly…
Midfield: Cazorla, Coquelin
Ramsey won’t return to training until Monday and Wilshere is still unavailable so I don’t see any reason to break-up the Cazorla-Coquelin axis in midfield.
Attack: Bellerin, Ozil, Sanchez
So, as I mentioned earlier, Bellerin is back in contention and I’d start him on the right-wing. West Brom are a tricky side away from home and I think playing Bellerin in front of Debuchy will give us more balance down the right than if Campbell started.
Plus, the young attacker played 90 minutes for Costa Rica last night and won’t get back to the UK until late this evening so will no doubt be feeling the effects of his long-haul trip. The Ox is still out along with Walcott and Welbeck so we don’t have too many other options in attack.
Ozil should be well rested after enjoying a two week break but Sanchez wasn’t afforded such a luxury after playing 180 minutes for Chile in their World Cup qualifiers, despite carrying a knock. But we don’t really have the option to rest him this weekend unfortunately.
We have no more strikers, so Giroud has to continue up front.
This would be my line-up:
So this is the side that I would pick but I’m not convinced Arsene will agree. In all likelihood, we’ll probably see Bellerin at right back with Campbell in attack.
Either way, it’s certain to be a tough game as West Brom are well organised and will be difficult to break down. I don’t see many goals in this game and the bookmakers also think it’s going to be a tight affair with Matchbook odds expecting there to be two or less goals in the game. However, if you fancy a cheeky bet I’d back a 1-0 Arsenal win.
Agree? What would be your team?