So Arsene Wenger’s record 60th against Man United is coming up this afternoon and it is obvious that Arsenal are only thinking about Thursday’s game in Madrid. In a game we were never expected to win, wenger has taken a big risk by leaving out Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Alexandre Lacazette, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal from the squad and is intent on giving some of his youngsters a run out.
While Arsenal were playing Atletico Madrid on Thursday, Jose Mourinho gave his players a rest and wants them to come back refreshed and ready to earn the points needed to ensure second place in the Premier league. Jose said: “We have had a good week since Wembley. For the players, better than for me because they had more time off than I did but that’s just the nature of the job and I think they deserve that little rest.
“The majority of them, after the last match [against Chelsea in the FA Cup final], they will go to their national teams and to the World Cup, so to have a couple of days without football, I think it was nice for them. They come [back] mentally fresh, happy and ready to get that point we need to finish fourth and the seven points we need to finish second [in the Premier League] and ready to go to that final.”
Wenger will be hoping his youngsters step up but with the firepower at Mourinho’s disposal he should have little trouble getting the three points today, but you never know….
So who will wenger play today? It is anyone’s guess really but I’m going to have a go from looking at the squad he has taken to Old Trafford. I thhink Petr Cech will be back in goal to try and stop United scoring too many, while Chambers and Holding will be given another chance to improve their partnership in the centre of defence.
Bellerin and Kolasinac should take the wing back positions. Willock could get another start alongside fellow youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles, with Iwobi making up the midfield trio.
Mhkitaryan will get a run after returning from injury and he will renew his partnership with Aubameyang, and Welbeck will be back on the wing as he normally performs well against his old club. This is actually a reasonably strong line-up if everyone plays their very best.
So here is my predicted line-up…
Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac,
Willock, Maitland-Niles, Iwobi,
We can only hope our defenders have an error-free day for a change, and we certainly have the firepower up front to score, but for once I am actually going to predict a defeat for Arsenal, but hope and pray that I’m wrong! 2-1 to Man United….