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Perez & Gibbs to start in 4-2-3-1: My Arsenal XI to face West Brom

By on December 24, 2016

Lucas-Perez arsenal

Arsenal will be looking to secure a vital win over West Brom when we welcome the Baggies to the Emirates on Boxing Day. This is the team I’d like to see Arsene Wenger go with….

Goalkeeper: Cech

Cech was suspect for the Man City winner last week with the 2-1 loss making it 8 league games without a clean sheet for the 34-year-old but I still think he’s a better keeper than Ospina.

Defence: Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs

Mustafi remains out with a hamstring injury while Mertesacker is still working his way back to full fitness following a serious knee problem so Gabriel will continue alongside Koscielny at the back.

Bellerin is a no-brainer to start at right-back but once again I’m going to call for Gibbs to be given a chance at left-back. Monreal has been below par all season and was undone again by Sterling for the City winner so it’s about time he’s dropped. Gibbs hasn’t really put a foot wrong when given the chance so I’d like to see him start on Monday.

Midfield: Ramsey, Xhaka

Ramsey returned to full training on Friday after recovering from a hamstring injury that’s kept him out in recent weeks. We’ll have to wait and see whether he’s fit enough to start but if he is then I’d bring him in alongside Xhaka.

Our midfield has been woeful in the last two games and the Xhaka-Coquelin combination just doesn’t work. It’s far too reserved and we don’t seem to have any control in the middle of the park when they play together.

Like many fans, I’m keen to see a partnership of Ramsey-Xhaka given time to develop as I think it has real potential. With Cazorla out until at least February, this pairing should be the way forward for now.

Attack: Walcott, Ozil, Perez, Sanchez

alexis sanchez arsenal

Ozil has come under severe criticism for his performances over the last two games and while some of it is justified [eg the way he defended the Williams goal] some of it has gone WELL over the top.

When we’re playing well, Ozil can be unplayable, but the problem comes when the team isn’t performing as Mesut suffers more than anybody. West Brom at home is a good opportunity for the German to silence his critics.

Walcott should continue on the right as he’ll be looking to build on his tidy finish against City and I’d like to see Perez given a go on the left side of attack. The Spaniard has been frozen out since scoring a hat-trick against Basel and it was a bizarre decision by Wenger to bring Elneny on over the forward when we were chasing a goal last week.

With Oxlade-Chamberlain ruled out with a hamstring injury and Iwobi’s form questionable, I’d love to see the boss show some confidence in Perez and give him a start on Monday.

West Brom would usually be a good game for Giroud to start but this is a match we simply have to win so I don’t think we should be messing around too much. Sanchez is our best striker so he should once again start up top with Olivier offering an option from the bench.

This would be my line-up:

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Arsenal Fanatik » Perez & Gibbs to start in 4-2-3-1: My Arsenal XI to face West Brom

  2. paul35mm

    December 24, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    Cech
    Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs
    Xhaka, Ramsey
    Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez
    Giroud

    Gibbs is the better player. He always has been. He has struggled with fitness and Monreal has simply been more reliable. Lately Monreal seems unable to cope with either pace or strength, so Gibbs should get a look.

    In central midfield the desire to stifle Man City led Arsene Wenger to use two DMs, but West Brom do not have the same ability to pass the ball and advance up the middle so Ramsey and Xhaka should be able to dominate play and move the ballv forward on the floor. The risk is, Ramsey’s lack of discipline could lead to him being out of position on West Brom’s inevitable long-ball counters. It will be up to Xhaka to sit deep and make those vital interceptions and win the long ball battle.

    West Brom will sit deep and be tough to break down, as usual. Arsenal need a physical presence up front and all their top scorers on the field to score against the stingy Pulis defense. Giroud is an aerial threat that neither Alexis nor Walcott offer. Iwobi has been unconvincing of late, and the boss does not seem to have confidence in Perez. A front four of Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez, and Giroud will provide a more varied threat. Giroud’s ability to hold the ball up could also be crucial if Arsenal find themselves having to respond to long ball counter attacks.

    It is unlikely Arsene Wenger will change. He is stubborn once he sets his mind to something, so expect to see Iwobi, Walcott, Ozil and Sanchez up top. This formaiton will prove to be a mistake and Arsenal will end up chasing this game and bringing in Giroud late to salvage a win or a draw after conceding a stupid long ball goal.

  3. Peter12

    December 24, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    I would like to see Holding instead of Gabriel who to my mind a liability. Holding is intelligent, reliable and technically superior compared with Gabriel. We need to defend intelligently. This young man is excellent and should not be ignored.

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