Even though Olivier Giroud is out of form and lacking in confidence after his slow start to the season with Arsenal and the France national team, whose friendly fans helpfully booed the big striker this week, I did not expect Arsene Wenger to drop him for the clash with Stoke City today, but that is what the Frenchman has done.
Theo Walcott comes in and will probably occupy the centre forward position, although I would not mind seeing Alexis Sanchez given another chance to show what he can do there. THere is not likely to be a lot of space in behind as Stoke will surely try to stifle the game and defend deep.
THe only other change is Gabriel replavcing Mertesacker who does not even make the bench so must be struggling for fitness or with illness. But I think that could make our back line stronger and could be the shape of things to come for Arsenal in the future.
This is a big game for the likes of Ozil, Cazorla and Ramsey as it could be a difficult and patient job to break down a stubborn and determined Stoke side. And early goal would, of course, be ideal and if we get one this could be a goal fest. Any win wil do though, so Come On You Gunners and get the job done.