Arsene Wenger has had a bit of a balancing act to perform as he prepares Arsenal for the first step in the defence of our FA cup trophy. We all know that the Premier League is a big priority but we also must pay due respect to the cup that has been so good to the Gunners down the years.
Despite his comments earlier in the week, Sam Allardyce has not started a bunch of kids and apart from a few players like Jermain Defoe, has named as strong a Sunderland side as possible. But it does not look as though the prof fell for his rival’s mind games.
Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chambers, Campbell
Walcott, Giroud, Iwobi
Subs: Macey, Debuchy, Arteta, Ramsey, Monreal, Reine-Adelaide, Willock.
The big surprise for me is that there is no David Ospina, even on the bench, so I assume the Columbian keeper has a problem. I also expected Debuchy to get a rare start as Bellerin has been looking in need of a rest but I think this proves how seriously Wenger is treating the FA cup.
It looks like Joel Campbell will play the number 10 role and it will be very interesting to see hoe he does and how the Ox performs in central midfield. If they do well then Arsenal will win but I feel we could be in for a rough ride. COYG