It was always pretty inevitable that Olivier Giroud’s moment of madness against West Ham would come back to bite us in the proverbials, and so it has come to pass. Danny Welbeck looks to be unavailable for Thursday’s crucial game away at Southampton as Arsene Wenger revealed yesterday:
“We have an uncertainty about Welbeck, who came off with a thigh problem. I think he will be short for Thursday.”
I am sure most Arsenal fans would want Theo Walcott to be given free rein in the centre, but the England international has not played a full game for over a year, and recent encounters have given Arsene little chances to give him a run out. Wenger revealed: “Walcott is involved because he was already in the squad. Of course I judge him a bit short on the competition front but on the fitness front he is ready to play.”
I am sure Theo will play a part at some stage, but he certainly can’t start the game, so who else could be in the frame? Lukas Podolski should really be the favourite to get the nod, given his goalscoring record, but we all know Wenger will not allow him to start. Ditto with Joel Campbell. The Costa Rican was brilliant in the World Cup up front, but again Wenger doesn’t seem convinced of his abilities.
Yaya Sanogo is definitely a recognised potential Number Nine, but no-one seems to know if he is fit or not, and would we even want him as centre-forward in such an important fixture?
So it looks to me that Alexis Sanchez is nailed on to move inside, even though we are all worried that he is playing far too many games in his first season in the Premiership. Wenger doesn’t seem to have the same reservations though as he said: “Alexis is a guy who has a naturally quick recovery and he has a lot of energy available as well.”
It is likely that Wenger will set out a defensive line-up on Thursday, so if any player was going to be left on his own in our opponents half, we would want it to be Alexis for sure.
Who do you think Wenger will choose?