4-3-2-1: Koscileny, Wilshere & Ramsey out: My Arsenal XI to face Stoke

By on March 30, 2018


Arsenal get back to Premier League action when we take on Stoke City at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon. Here is the team I would like to see Arsene Wenger select….

Goalkeeper: Cech

Cech is our number one but won’t play in the Europa League as Wenger will go with Ospina so the Czech legend will keep goal this weekend.

Defence: Bellerin, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac

We have no chance of finishing in the top four so I’d rest Koscielny’s dodgy Achilles and give Holding a run out alongside Mustafi in the middle of defence.

I also wouldn’t risk Monreal so Kolasinac should start at left-back as long as he’s passed fit having picked up a knock on international duty. If he’s ruled out, then Maitland-Niles can play.

Ideally I’d also rest Bellerin but we have few viable options behind him at right-back so the Spaniard will have to play against Stoke and pray he doesn’t get injured.

Midfield: Elneny, Iwobi, Xhaka

Wilshere was sent home early from international duty after picking up a knee injury in training with England last week. It’s not serious but there is no point risking him this weekend with the CSKA Moscow match next Thursday.

I’d also give Ramsey more time to recover from his minor groin operation that kept him out of duty with Wales this past week so Alex Iwobi could get a run out in a central midfield role.

I’d go with Elneny sitting in front of the back four as he adds more protection than Xhaka. The Swiss international could then be deployed in a more advanced role that would take away his defensive duties slightly.

Attack: Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang

Aubameyang is unavailable in Europe so obviously he should start on Sunday afternoon while Lacazette is back in contention after recovering from a knee injury that’s kept him out for seven weeks.

The French international needs game-time but I wouldn’t risk him from the start this weekend so I’d give him 30 minutes in the second half to sharpen him up ahead of the CSKA game.

This match is all about preparing for the Europa League so I’d start Ozil and Mkhitaryan as they need to get back in to the groove of club football following the international break.

Attackers need to find rhythm and timing with their passing so there’s no point resting Mesut and Henrikh on Sunday and hoping they turn it on against CSKA a few days later.

This is the team I hope we see: