Key trio recalled by Wenger: My Arsenal starting XI vs Middlesbrough

By on April 16, 2017

alex-oxlade-chamberlain arsenal

Arsenal desperately need to collect all three points when we take on Middlesbrough at the Riverside on Monday night.

This is the team I’d like to see Arsene Wenger go with….

Goalkeeper: Cech

Cech is back in contention after recovering from a calf strain that’s kept him out of the last four games so Martinez is set to drop to the bench with Ospina still out with a muscle problem.

Defence: Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Gibbs

Koscielny is also expected to be available after returning to training late last week having overcome an Achilles injury that he sustained against Manchester City two weeks ago.

Gabriel has done reasonably well in his absence but I don’t think there can be any doubt Kos has to start if fit. Mustafi’s place could be less certain as he put in another dodgy display during the defeat at Palace last week but I’d still stick with him alongside Koscielny.

Bellerin is another who’s form has dipped badly in recent weeks but he’s still our best right-back so he has to start. However, what has Gibbs got to do to get a game? Monreal has been poor for much of the season so I’d give Gibbsy a run at left-back.

Midfield: Xhaka, The Ox

Our midfield was toothless again last week and I just don’t get what all the fuss was about with the Elneny-Xhaka combination. It just doesn’t work for me and I think we need more dynamism alongside Xhaka so I’d recall Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Ramsey is another option who I’d start ahead of Elneny but The Ox would be my pick due to his superior pace and direct style which gives us more creativity in the middle of the park.

alexis sanchez arsenal

Attack: Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck

It’s safe to say the whole team was useless against Palace but we certainly need more from our forward players. Welbeck has looked rusty since returning to the side but I’d still stick with him and continue to use Giroud as an impact substitute.

Thankfully with Koscielny/Cech set to return, the armband will be taken away from Walcott but I would still keep him in the side on the right wing as he’s a goal threat.

Ozil and Sanchez need to put doubts over their future’s to one side and concentrate on their football as we desperately need them on top form if we’re going to have any chance of clawing our way back in to the top four.

This would be my line-up:

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