Holding & Perez start in 4-2-3-1: My Arsenal XI vs Preston

By on January 6, 2017


Arsenal take on Championship side Preston North End at Deepdale in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday night. This is the team I’d like to see Arsene Wenger go with….

Goalkeeper: Ospina

Cech’s form is becoming a real worry as he was poor again at Bournemouth in midweek. Wenger has already confirmed that Ospina will start in goal but there’s an argument to say that the Colombian deserves a crack at the first team shirt on a regular basis.

Defence: Jenkinson, Holding, Gabriel, Monreal

Koscielny will be given a rest so Gabriel is expected to start and I think it would be madness not to also give Bellerin a breather – particularly as he’s been nursing an ankle problem – so I’d go with Jenkinson at right-back.

Many are predicting that Mustafi will start in defence but I think we should give youngster Rob Holding a chance to impress and give the German international the night off.

Unfortunately Gibbsy has been ruled out as he’s still not recovered from his knee injury so we have little choice but to start Monreal at left-back.

Midfield: Ramsey, Xhaka

Our options in the middle of the park are limited as Coquelin has been ruled out for around a month with a knee injury while Cazorla is still some way off making his return from ankle surgery.

Elneny is at the Africa Cup of Nations so we’re down to the bare bones in midfield but the silver lining is that Wenger is going to have little choice but to start Ramsey alongside Xhaka over the coming weeks.

Like many fans, I’ve been keen to see this partnership develop and while ideally they’d both be rested for the more important Premier League games coming up, the Preston game provides an opportunity for the Rambo/Xhaka pairing to gel.

Lucas-Perez arsenal

Attack: Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Reine-Adelaide, Perez

Perez was a doubt for the game after picking up an ankle injury but he was able to take part in training today so it looks as though he’s passed a late fitness test and I’d like to see him given a start up front. He certainly deserves it after scoring a stunning volley against Bournemouth so I’d go with Lucas up top and keep Giroud as an option from the bench.

Sanchez will be given a rest while Wenger has also confirmed that Ozil won’t feature tomorrow after only returning to training on Thursday after a bout of flu and Walcott is still nursing a calf injury.

Therefore, Oxlade-Chamberlain should start on the right with Iwobi once again deployed in the No.10 role while youngster Reine-Adelaide is expected to be given another chance to impress in attack.

This would be my line-up:

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