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Ramsey & Giroud out, 23 year-old starts: My Arsenal XI vs Watford
Arsenal have a great opportunity to close the gap on Chelsea when we take on Watford at the Emirates on Tuesday evening. This is the team I’d like to see Arsene Wenger go with….
Cech was rested for our FA Cup win over Southampton at the weekend but the Czech star should come back in to the side despite Ospina keeping a clean sheet last time out.
Defence: Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal
I thought Bellerin looked a little rusty upon his return to the starting eleven on Saturday but the 90 minutes will have done him good so he should keep his place at right-back ahead of Gabriel.
Obviously Koscielny will get a recall to partner Mustafi at the back. Holding did well against the Saints and will be a star for the future but Koscielny is a no-brainer. Gibbs started at left-back against Southampton but he didn’t really take his opportunity to grab the first team shirt so I’d bring Monreal back against Watford.
Midfield: Ox-Chamberlain, Coquelin
I don’t often get things right but I’m glad to see Wenger took my advice and started Oxlade-Chamberlain in the middle of the park against Southampton as the 23-year-old was excellent.
He replaced Xhaka’s long, racking passes, worked hard on the defensive side of the game and his passing was on point. It may be a little controversial, but I’d rather we stick with The Ox alongside Coquelin and leave Ramsey out.
I think the Ramsey/Xhaka combination has the potential to be a superb partnership but I’m not a fan of Ramsey alongside Coquelin so with Xhaka still serving his ban, I’d go with the Ox tomorrow.
Obviously Cazorla is still unavailable due to his on-going Achilles problems while Elneny has picked up a calf problem while away at the AFCON. Thankfully it doesn’t sound too serious though.
Attack: Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck
Wenger suddenly has some serious selection dilemma’s in attack as Welbeck made his return to the starting eleven with a bang after scoring two excellent goals against Southampton so it’s difficult to see why he’d be left out.
The boss has hinted that Danny may not be physically ready to start again so soon but he looked sharp enough to me on Saturday so I’d like to see him keep his place as we’re a far better unit going forward when we have pace and mobility through the middle. Let’s use Giroud as an impact sub.
That would see Alexis starting from the left but let’s be honest he and Welbeck can interchange during the game while Ozil will obviously come back in for Reine-Adelaide in the No.10 role.
Walcott also returned to the side in excellent form having scored a hat-trick on Saturday so he should definitely start on the right-wing. Unfortunately there’s no place for Lucas in my side but he’ll be a great weapon from the bench along with Iwobi.
This would be my line-up:
That’s the side I’d play but I fully expect Wenger to go with Ramsey alongside Coquelin while he’ll probably also start Giroud in place of Welbeck.
Either way, the team should have more than enough to beat Watford at home so with Liverpool hosting Chelsea at Anfield, tomorrow night is an excellent chance for us to close the gap at the top.