TEAM: My Preferred Arsenal Line-Up vs Chelsea: No Arteta

By on March 21, 2014

Arsenal make the short trip across London to take on Chelsea on Saturday afternoon, here’s my preferred line-up for the game.

Goalkeeper: Lukasz Fabianski has proven he can be relied upon when needed, but Szczesny is our No.1 and will start this game.

Defence: Kieran Gibbs returned from injury to play against Tottenham last week and he’s likely to once again start alongside Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Bacary Sagna. I see no reason to change what’s been our best back four this season.

Midfield: Now here’s where I would like to see a change. Mathieu Flamini has been left out in recent weeks but I think his inclusion is important. Mikel Arteta’s lack of pace is a real problem in the middle of the park so to prevent the likes of Oscar and Hazard exposing us, I think Flamini should start ahead of the Spaniard.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has done very well in the middle recently but I’d prefer he started on the wing to offer us some pace going forward and give the hosts something to worry about. Otherwise, we’ll be inviting them to play a high line which will allow them to pack the midfield and disrupt our passing game.

Therefore, I’d pick Tomas Rosicky to start in the middle if he passes a late fitness test on an ankle injury. The Czech international has shown how important he is recently and his work-rate will be vital against Chelsea.

Attack: With The Ox on the right and Rosicky a little deeper, that will allow Santi Cazorla to play in his favoured position behind the striker with Lukas Podolski keeping his place on the left. The German doesn’t always do a great deal in games, but he’s a massive goal threat and that’s something we’re lacking with Walcott, Ozil and Rambo out.

Striker: I’ve seen some fans suggesting that Sanogo should start as he could cause Terry some problems with his movement and pace, but I think it would be a risk to start the youngster in such an important game. Let’s stick with Giroud and hope he has a better game than he did at White Hart Lane!

This is the side I’d put out. However, in reality I think Arsene Wenger may go with Arteta and Flamini in the middle, Cazorla on the left, Rosicky behind Giroud and The Ox on the right. That won’t be too bad but I do worry about the Arteta-Flamini combination sometimes.

What team would you start against Chelsea?