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3-4-2-1: Nketiah to start up front: My Arsenal starting XI to face Cologne

By on November 23, 2017

eddie Nketiah

Arsenal can secure top spot in Europa League Group H when we take on Cologne in Germany this evening. Here is the team I’d like to see Arsene Wenger select….

Goalkeeper: Ospina

Ospina is available again after recovering from a groin injury so we should see the Colombian international back between the sticks with Macey on the bench. Obviously Cech will be rested.

Defence: Chambers, Mertesacker, Holding

We have plenty of options in central defence again as Mertesacker has recovered from illness while Chambers is in contention after overcoming a niggling hip injury so I’d like to see both given starts tonight.

Holding should also be given another chance to impress which means there will be no room for Debuchy – which is unfortunate as he did a solid job filling-in against Red Star and Norwich.

Wenger is set to once again rest our key men so the likes of Koscielny, Mustafi and Monreal will all be given the night off ahead of the trip to Burnley on Sunday.

Midfield: Nelson, Wilshere, Coquelin, Maitland-Niles

I’ve said it many times in recent weeks but I don’t see why Wilshere isn’t getting a chance in central midfield. Wenger has been deploying him further forward but there is so much competition in attack, Jack just isn’t going to get the game-time.

Central midfield is our weakest area of the pitch so I don’t understand why we aren’t using Wilshere there anymore – especially given it’s his best position – so I’d like to see him given a chance in the middle tonight.

Coquelin just gets the nod ahead of Elneny while it will be good to see youngsters Nelson and Maitland-Niles given another chance to impress in the wing-back roles. Ramsey, Xhaka, Bellerin and Kolasinac will all be rested.

Alex-Iwobi-Arsenal

Attack: Welbeck, Iwobi, Nketiah

Giroud returned to full training yesterday after missing the Spurs game with a thigh injury but it remains to be seen if he’s 100% fit. Obviously if he’s fit then start him but if not, I wouldn’t risk him so I’d like to see Eddie Nketiah start up front.

The 18-year-old is a hugely exciting prospect and he became an instant hero after coming off the bench to score twice against Norwich so let’s see what he can do in Europe.

With Wilshere playing deeper, it gives us the chance to start Iwobi in attack. The Nigerian international seems to be a bit stuck right now as he’s not playing with the second-string in the cups but he’s also not starting with the first team when Sanchez and Ozil are fit.

Iwobi needs regular game-time to help him develop so another bonus of moving Wilshere in to midfield is that we can give Alex a run-out.

Welbeck is back in contention after recovering from a groin injury that kept him out for a month so he should start with AOL [Alexis, Ozil, Lacazette] all rested.

This is the team I’d like to see later:

While this would be my team, I think Wenger will stick with Wilshere in attack in place of Iwobi, Elneny will probably be in midfield while Giroud will probably start up front. Either way, the team should be more than good enough to get a result this evening.

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