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Key Arsenal duo to miss Southampton clash but 27-year-old to return
According to the Mirror, Arsene Wenger is ready to rotate his squad for Arsenal’s FA Cup fourth round tie at Southampton with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil among those set for a breather.
We head to St Mary’s on Saturday evening looking to continue our superb record in the FA Cup in recent years but despite facing a tough away trip to a top Premier League side, it looks as though Arsene is ready to field a weakened side.
The Mirror claim that Wenger will risk upsetting Sanchez by resting him for the trip to the south coast – but I’m sure Alexis is man enough to understand that he needs to be protected to ensure he’s on top form during the second half of the season.
The paper also suggests that Ozil will be another key man that will be rested this weekend with the playmaker given permission to enjoy a mini break in Sweden this week to recharge his batteries.
Arsene always rotates his team for the domestic cups, especially in the early rounds, so this news will come as no surprise and I also think we’ll see the likes of Petr Cech, Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny given a breather on Saturday.
That would allow David Ospina to start in goal while Hector Bellerin and Kieran Gibbs should come in to the back four. I also expect Francis Coquelin to replace the suspended Granit Xhaka in midfield.
With Sanchez and Ozil rested, it will open the door for Theo Walcott to make his return after the 27-year-old recovered from a calf injury that’s kept him out in recent weeks.
Danny Welbeck is also expected to get some minutes under his belt after returning to the first team squad following a seven month absence while I think we’ll see Lucas Perez also get some much-needed game time.