Granit Xhaka has returned to training today ahead of Arsenal’s crucial tie against Manchester United.
The midfielder was expected to miss the encounter following a kicking from Tottenham Hotspur in last weekend’s 2-0 loss at White Hart Lane, but may well be returning early enough to feature against the Red Devils.
United are expected to make changes in order to prioritise the Europa League semi-final, which has sandwiched this sunday’s Premier League encounter, but we have no such distractions, and will be keen to field our best possible XI.
Granit Xhaka has been a first-team player since our recent switch to the newly-fashionable 3-4-2-1 formation, and his name would be a welcome one on the teamsheet as we look to continue our strong run within the new system.
His absence would likely have seen either Francis Coquelin come back into the side, or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain find himself switched centrally with Hector Bellerin returning to the side, but should Xhaka prove his fitness, the Ox would likely retain his wing-back position.
Arsene Wenger recently insisted that the Chamberlain would be making a return to a central midfield role in the future, while claiming Bellerin’s absence from the starting line-up is because he had struggled to get back to 100% following an injury earlier in the season, and may well be protecting him.
Shkodran Mustafi is also expected to return to the starting line-up against United, having missed recent weeks through injury, and he will likely take Monreal’s position at centre-back, which may see Gibbs lose his starting place.
Does Monreal deserve to keep his role at CB? Is Gibbs favoured as wing-back to his rival? Is the Ox staking a long-term claim as a right wing-back?