Latest Arsenal Team News + Predicted Starting XI To Play Coventry

By on January 23, 2014

Arsenal welcome League One side Coventry City to the Emirates on Friday night for our FA Cup fourth round clash. Here’s the team news and my predicted line-up for the game.

Arsene Wenger confirmed earlier today at his press conference that he’s taking the tie seriously and won’t play a severely weakened side, but I think we’ll certainly see at least six changes from the team that beat Fulham last weekend.

Lukasz Fabianski is almost certain to start in goal while Kieran Gibbs should return to left-back in place of Nacho Monreal. Carl Jenkinson is also odds on to feature at right-back to give Sagna a rest.

With Thomas Vermaelen still struggling with a knee injury and very little depth in the position, we’ll probably see Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny at centre-back. It’s not ideal but I don’t think the boss will take the risk of playing one of the youngsters in there.

He’s also got limited options in the centre of midfield after confirming that Ramsey, Arteta and Rosicky are all unavailable, so Wilshere and Flamini are likely to start. If Wenger wants to play one of the youth lads then Zelalem or Hayden are options.

Serge Gnabry may keep his place on the right wing with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also likely to start. The Ox could potentially swap with Wilshere to play a little deeper, but they’ll most likely interchange positions throughout the game anyway.

Lukas Podolski should definitely be given a run-out having been scarcely used recently, and Nicklas Bendtner is back in contention after returning to training this week so I think we’ll see the Great Dane start in order to give Olivier Giroud a well-earned rest.

Here’s my predicted team:

This team on paper may actually look a little strong given we’re up against League One opposition at home. I’d be more than happy to see Zelalem come in and be given a chance but I have a feeling Arsene will go with a strong side and introduce the youngsters in the second half.

What team would you play?