With Arsenal desperately needing some kind of confidence boost as well as all three Premier League points from this evening’s away game at Middlesborough, Arsene Wenger will have been very relieved to welcome our best centre back Laurent Koscielny and the first choice keeper Petr Cech back into training this week, and it is no surprise that both are in the starting line-up tonight.
What is a surprise, though, is the absence of Shkodran Mustafi from the team or even the bench, so our bad luck just keeps going and Wenger has had to go with Gabriel. There is a also a rare start for young Rob Holding with Hector Bellerin dropping to the bench after his poor form led to some abuse from the fans in our defeat at Crystal Palace.
Also on that Arsenal bench are Elneny and Coquelin, with Ramsey and Xhaka preferred, while Oxlade-Chamberlain and Giroud join Alexis Sanchez up front and Walcott and Welbeck miss out, the latter out of the squad altogether.
Holding, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Alexis
subs: Martinez, Bellerin, Gibbs, Coquelin, Elneny, Walcott, Iwobi.
Can this changed Arsenal side produce a change in fortunes that the Gunners so badly need?