With Arsenal’s next game against Wigan a Carling Cup fixture, there will undoubtedly be changes made to the team.
While Arsene Wenger is keen to remain tight-lipped about the make-up of his starting team, he has also revealed that Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner are all likely to feature. The three front-line starters from the weekend are likely to get a rest while there looks to be no place for Carlos Vela, it seems.
Wenger’s midfield selection is anybody’s guess with Alex Song, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky all completing full matches against Aston Villa on Saturday. Denilson looks the only certain starter, although I do expect Rosicky and Wilshere to start again in this one.
There are opportunities a-plenty for starting back four in tomorrow night’s game.
Emmanuel Eboue’s lightning-quick recover from a knee problem (a result of his faith in God?) should see him start while Kieran Gibbs will get another almighty opportunity to show what he can do on the left. It is my very strong opinion that if Gibbs plays well against Wigan and can get through the match unscathed, he should be retained for the weekend league match against Fulham at Gael Clichy’s expense.
Meanwhile in the centre of defence Sebastien Squillaci’s minor injury means that Johan Djourou will be recalled, as he probably would have anyhow, to partner Laurent Koscielny. I ran a poll in the last post to get some opinions on your preferred central-defensive pairing and although Koscielny-Djourou was the least popular response, behind Squillaci-Koscielny and Squillaci-Djourou, the feeling was that this pairing has the most potential.
I am of the opinion that Djourou’s exclusion from the starting team to accommodate Koscielny has hurt us defensively and that he was unlucky to lose his spot. Although I’d like to see Djourou return to the first team at the expense of Koscielny I just hope the pair can put in a commanding performance and come away from the contest with a clean sheet.
The last position up for grabs, that of the goalkeeper, poses the biggest selection dramas for Wenger. Does he recall the fully-fit Manuel Almunia or make a rather large statement and continue with Wojciech Szczesny? I can tell you write now that myself and 95% of the Arsenal community will want to see Szczesny get another chance and I believe that he will.
Wenger better too: he wouldn’t want to be on the end of an angry Wojciech punch.
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