I was half expecting to see the Arsenal and France international centre forward Olivier Giroud back in the styarting line up tonight. Arsene Wenger spoke in the build up to the game against the Baggies about expecting a strong and committed defensive display from Tony Pulis’s team and that means that Giroud’s attributes could be more important than the pace of Danny Welbeck. And it is not as if the England forward has been in great scoring form himself in recent weeks, so the Frenchman gets the nod.
I am slightly more surprised to see Aaron Ramsey back again as our central midfield duo of Coquelin and Elneny have been looking good. But the boss clearly wants more attacking threat as it is the more defensive Coquelin who makes way for the Welshman.
The other change to the Arsenal side that drew with Crystal Palace is the return of our Big Flipping German at the back in place of Gabriel, again perhaps this is specifically designed to cope with the physical nature of the visiting players.
Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal
Sanchez, Ozil, Iwobi
Subs: Gabriel, Ospina, Walcott, Chambers, Welbeck, Campbell, Coquelin.
Will this re-jigged Arsenal side be able to get the win we so desperately need?