With the Arsenal injury situation slowly changing from crisis to merely problematic, Arsene Wenger is hoping to have a much stronger squad of fit players to choose from for the trip to face the Premier League champions at the Etihad stadium on Sunday.
And that squad could well include Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini, as well as Aaron Ramsey, giving the boss many more options than he has had recently for the centre of midfield. But with the Gunners having done pretty well without them in the last couple of games, I wonder whether Wenger will consider keeping the same players in his starting line-up and I am specifically thinking about Francis Coquelin.
The young Frenchman has been getting better game by game in the absence of Arteta and Flamini, with the latter sitting out the win over Stoke on the bench. It is Flamini, I would suggest, that is more likely to come in for Coquelin, as an away game with Man City will require solidity and defensive strength from Arsenal, rather than the passing and vision of Arteta. But is Flamini a better option than Coquelin.
The stats on the two Frenchmen compiled by Squawka.com suggest that there is little to choose between the two. Flamini has the better overall score but that is mainly down to his better possession stats.
The younger man wins on the defensive side of things, with more interceptions and clearances per game, a higher percentage of duels won and twice as many successful tackles per game. Maybe the most telling and the reason I think Wenger should stick with Coquelin for this game, is that he is yet to make a single defensive error. The lad is feeling confident as well and is showing the discipline that a good defensive midfielder needs.
So Gooners, would you stick with Coquelin against Man City?