It is vital that Arsene Wenger gets Arsenal off to a winning start when club football gets back underway after this current round of international friendly games and Euro qualifiers are finished. And the Gunners have a great chance to get our season up and running properly because the Premier League game on Saturday is a home tie with Hull City.
No disrespect to Steve Bruce and his players, as they did give Arsenal a real fright in the FA cup final in May, but this should be a comfortable win for us. For various reasons, however, it will probably be a much changed Arsenal side that lines up at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon.
Because Alexis Sanchez is likely to play the full 90 minutes for Chile in the early hours of tomorrow morning before flying to England from South America, I think that Wenger will not start the Chilean forward. And the way Oxlade-Chamberlain has been finding his form and influencing games for club and country, I expect the Englishman to start on the right instead of Alexis.
Mesut Ozil is injured and Calum Chambers is suspended, so those two will have to be replaced and I think the players to come in will be Hector Bellerin and Lukas Podolski, who is gagging to play more, allowing Santi Cazorla to operate in the number 10 role. And if Wenger had any doubt about whether to stick with the more defensive Flamini instead of bringing Arteta back, surely the performances of Wilshere for England will have convinced the Frenchman to go with the more creative Arteta.
This is how I see Arsenal’s starting XI:
Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski
What do you think Gooners?