After securing automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League but falling off the pace to pip Manchester City to second place, Arsenal welcome West Brom to the Emirates with nothing much to play for. Picking a starting eleven may prove to be a difficult task for Arsene Wenger as the Frenchman might want to rest some of his key players ahead of the FA Cup final against Aston Villa, whilst also knowing that a convincing win over the Baggies will give his Gunners’ side a massive boost for the big game at Wembley. So who should Wenger rest?
If you’d ask me, I’d give a breather to Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla and opt to replace the trio with Gabriel, Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott respectively. While Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez have also played a lot of games, the duo are the engine of the team and need to be present for the Gunners to take the game to West Brom. Besides, they don’t look like they need a rest. Hector Bellerin and Olivier Giroud will have to start as a result of the injuries to Mathieu Debuchy and Danny Welbeck.
Rosicky and Walcott both looked very sharp when they came on against Sunderland and the duo almost combined to score Arsenal’s winner, and I believe they both deserve to start the final League game. Koscielny has probably been the most used player for Arsenal this campaign and I really think Wenger should keep his best defender fresh for the Cup final, especially now that the team has a more than worthy replacement in the Brazilian Gabriel, who has been impressive so far.
My Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Gabriel, Mertesacker, Monreal; Coquelin, Ramsey, Walcott, Alexis, Rosicky; Giroud.
For me, this is a team that is more than capable of achieving a convincing victory against West Brom, with key players such as Koscielny, Ozil and Cazorla being able to take a breather ahead of the all important clash against Aston Villa at Wembley. I would prefer Jack Wilshere to be on the bench for both games, his fitness doesn’t seem to be quite there yet.