So, after Arsenal’s debacle in midweek at home to Southampton, we will see a completely different line-up for this evening’s game at West Ham. At least most of our stars were rested on Wednesday so we will have a fresh team keen to keep our 12 game unbeaten run in the Premier League going…
Obviously Cech will return between the sticks, and it would appear that we have an ongoing problem at right back, with Debuchy ruled out for at least six weeks, and Jenkinson in a bad place right now. Wenger said about Jenks: “He has lost confidence,”
“The Jenkinson you see at the moment is the Jenkinson who can play but is not completely Jenkinson because he has no confidence.
“That will come back. He will be in and out and, suddenly, after one or two months, he will make the step and play. It is natural and very difficult.
“Today it is even more difficult because he gets quickly hammered by everybody on social media. I hope he doesn’t read all that and focuses on his game.”
So it seems that Gabriel is quickly becoming the automatic backup for Bellerin now, and Wenger is hoping the Brazilian is not too affected by the plane crash involving some of his friends last week. When asked if he thought Paulista was okay to play, he said: “Yes, I think so. I will have a chat with him today, but if he is in the right frame of mind he will play.
“He has sent a very emotional message to the families of people involved in this crash, but he still played on Wednesday, and if he has recovered well physically and mentally, I will play him as well.”
Mustafi and Koscielny are certainties to return, and I think Monreal will play on the left as Gibbs played against the Saints. I am hoping that Xhaka will return to play alongside Coquelin, although I’m not sure that Wenger has much confidence in him as yet and may stick with Elneny or Ramsey. We have to find a solid starter to do the Cazorla role now that the Spaniard is out of the picture.
With Giroud also ruled out, I am sure that Sanchez will be back in the centre-forward role, with Ozil (of course!)behind, and Theo and the Ox on the wings.
Here is my prediction…..
Gabriel, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal
Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Who agrees with that line-up?