Ozil & Ramsey Out: My Arsenal Line-Up To Face Sunderland

By on January 7, 2016

Mikel Arteta

Arsenal begin the defence of the FA Cup when we take on Sunderland at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon. This is the side I think should start the match….

Goalkeeper: Ospina

I don’t often want to see Petr Cech left out but this is one of those rare occasions as I think he should be given a breather with Ospina starting in goal.

Defence: Debuchy, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Gibbs

As much as I love the FA Cup, the Premier League has to be the priority given how well placed we are heading into the second half of the season so I’d like to see a number of key men left out this weekend.

Koscielny, Monreal and Bellerin should all be left out with Gabriel and Gibbs certain to start. It will be interesting to see if Debuchy plays as there is intense speculation that he’s set to leave on loan.

Midfield: Chambers, Arteta

Ramsey needs a rest but obviously our options in midfield are limited given that Cazorla, Coquelin and Wilshere are all out injured – although Arteta is back in contention after recovering from a calf injury.

The ‘skipper’ played 45 minutes for the under-21’s in midweek and Arsene says he’s available for selection so I’d expect him to start. Whether he’s fit to play the full ninety minutes remains to be seem though.

Chambers did reasonably well in the middle against Bournemouth last week so I’d give him another chance to impress this weekend with Flamini rested.

Attack: Campbell, The Ox, Iwobi

This is the perfect opportunity to hand Mesut Ozil a well earned rest and I’d be seriously p*ssed if Arsene starts him on Saturday – especially with a crucial game at Liverpool coming up on Wednesday night.

Oxlade-Chamberlain could be deployed in his favoured central role with Joel Campbell coming back in on the wing. I’d also hand a start to one of the youngsters. Jeff Reine-Adelaide has put himself in contention after scoring a brace for the U21’s in midweek but I think Alex Iwobi is closer to the first team.

Striker: Walcott

Giroud needs a rest so I’d go with Theo Walcott through the middle this weekend and keep the Frenchman in reserve from the bench.

This would be my line-up:

What would be your team?