My Arsenal XI To Face Newcastle! by AT
After a comfortable victory over Bournemouth, Arsenal welcome Newcastle United to the Emirates stadium on Saturday as the Gunners look to continue their stay on top of the Premier League table. As a result of the hectic Christmas schedule, Arsene Wenger will have to rotate his squad once again and still field a side that can beat the Magpies. Now here’s how I would go about it.
Starting from the back, Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny should come back into the side after a well-deserved breather in place of Kieran Gibbs and Per Mertesacker respectively. The German really needs to be rested and it will most certainly be exciting to see Gabriel and Koscielny play together. Another player who deserves a rest is young Hector Bellerin and I would bring in Matthieu Debuchy at right-back to face his former club. The former Newcastle star is in desperate need of some first-team football. Needless to mention, Petr Cech will be in goal.
Moving to the middle of the park, Mathieu Flamini will be available again and I’d bring him straight back into the team in place of Calum Chambers. Perhaps the two players that are most in need of a breather right now are Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil, but such is Arsenal’s injury crisis that the duo are irreplacable at the moment and simply have to start.
On to the front three, I would opt to bring Joel Campbell back into the side in place of Olivier Giroud, with Theo Walcott leading the line for the Gunners. In addition to the fact that Giroud needs a breather, Walcott will also relish the opportunity of playing as a striker. It is also worth noting that the last time the Englishman played up front against Newcastle, he scored a hattrick.
For me, this team has more than enough quality to see off the Magpies at the Emirates and keep Arsenal at the top of the table, whilst giving Wenger the opportunity to rest key players like Mertesacker, Bellerin and Giroud.
Starting XI: Cech; Debuchy, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini, Ramsey; Campbell, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Walcott.
Bench: Ospina, Mertesacker, Bellerin, Gibbs, Chambers, Iwobi, Giroud
This team should be strong enough to beat the Magpies? Agreed?