Arsenal: What would be the preferable starting XI against Sunderland? by SE
Arsenal, for all the struggles they have endured in the Premier League so far, have done well to pick up 6 points out of 6 in their last two Champions League fixtures against Galatasaray and Anderlecht. That last gasp win on Wednesday night against the Belgium Champions, especially, would have invigorated this Arsenal side that was looking for some sort of inspiration after an insipid display against Hull City last weekend at the Emirates. Thus, going into Saturday’s clash against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, expect Arsenal to come out all guns blazing and look to get back to winning ways, after losing and drawing their last two Premier League games against Chelsea and Hull City respectively. What should be Arsenal’s preferable stating XI against Sunderland?
Wojciech Szczesny should return to goal, after serving his one-match Champions League suspension against Anderlecht. Calum Chambers, having seen out his suspension in the home game against Hull City, should be back to playing at Right-Back, in place of Hector Bellerin who did a decent job against Hull City last weekend. At the heart of the defence, Per Mertesacker is sure to start to the near-left of Chambers, looking to put up a good show after his struggles during this early phase of the season. To the left of Mertesacker, I’d persist with Nacho Monreal, although Laurent Koscielny is expected to be fit for tomorrow’s game. The Frenchman’s injury cannot be taken lightly, and Wenger needs to handle one of his key defenders diligently. Kieran Gibbs should have no problems retaining his place at Left-Back.
Starting with the midfield pivot, it’s going to be a tussle between Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta. Flamini has done well midst a lot of cynicism over his ability to guard the Gunners’ backline. Personally, I’d stick with the Frenchman and bring on the Spaniard later on in the game. Aaron Ramsey’s return to action during last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Hull City should make him a certain starter for Arsenal’s trip to Sunderland, where he scored a brace last September. Jack Wilshere, who played against Anderlecht in midweek after shaking off what looked like a serious ankle injury during Hull City’s game, should start alongside Ramsey in what will be a 3-man midfield.
On the Left-Hand-Side, after scoring the winning goal for Arsenal against Anderlecht, Lukas Podolski would be my Left-Winger, in place of Alexis Sanchez who has been overworked already this season. It’s no good for Arsenal and Wenger during this stage of the season when they are hit by injuries to many a key player, and it’s precisely due to that reason why Wenger needs to start thinking of utilizing Podolski and Tomas Rosicky a lot more than what he has done with them so far. The Chilean should start from the bench for the North Londoners. Upfront, it should be Danny Welbeck who seems to have bedded in nicely and just needs to work on being consistent. On the Right-Hand-Side, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain should provide width and pace to the Gunners, with his marauding pace and lively attitude.