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Anyway we have some players to add back to the squad after injury and knocks which is great. I think Arsene has been juggling his squad rather nicely in this regard. Holding players back until the right moment and I think he has done that this time with the likes of Theo Walcott, Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal. He had done the same with Aaron Ramsey and Oliver Giroud before them, keeping them away for a little longer than perhaps they would have wanted but making sure they could (hopefully) make a lasting impact rather than break down trying to rush them back in.

It is going to be very interesting to see what Arsene does with the line up tonight. Theo Walcott, Nacho Monreal, Hector Bellerin and Santi Cazorla will be left behind due to injury or knocks (that’s probably the same thing) so we are going to witness some degree of rotation anyway. Oliver Giroud sat alongside Arsene Wenger at the pre match presser yesterday and I swear Giroud indicated that he would be playing tonight, or perhaps I just read more into something that meant very little. That said, how many times has an Arsenal player sat alongside Arsene pre match and not started the following day

An Arsenal side full of freshness, confidence and full fitness can overcome that from the likes of Sunderland with a few quick passing combinations and movement from our front players which is why we beat these type of teams more often than not but when our football drops a little, it proves to be a little more difficult. I have a slight fear that without Santi and Xhaka on top of a few tired legs

Giroud's return is rather interesting though. Our move away from the target man, instead opting for a mobile front line has brought us obvious rewards so far this season, so it may have been an ideal opportunity to give Lucas Perez a chance to lead the line once more, perhaps a chance to see how the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and perhaps the Jeff can replicate our first choice trio up front, but I don't see Giroud being left on the bench when he clearly needs minutes so we may well look a little different in our approach this evening

Santi Cazorla is having a fitness test after having to come off on Wednesday following a kick to his achilles. If Santi doesn’t make it and I think it would be a good idea to give him the afternoon off even if he is medically fit enough to play, then that position will be given to Mohamed Elneny who has had to be very patient so far this season. That’s how quickly football changes I suppose. When Elneny had adjusted to life at Arsenal he was first choice, even playing in the defensive midfield position ahead of Francis Coquelin, a few months later and he has found himself behind Cazorla, Coquelin, Xhaka and probably Aaron Ramsey when fit

So onto the mighty Arsenal, I wonder what Arsene will do in terms of rotation. I wonder if he will rotate at all. I was looking out for clues at his press conference and I know that is somewhat foolhardy as the boss tends not to give much away at times but he spoke about looking at how players recover, keeping stability and looking at the next game. That doesn’t sound like a manager ready to make wholesale changes now does it? That said I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kieran Gibbs be given a chance after Nacho’s difficult afternoons work against the Swans, even if he wasn’t given much help from Iwobi ahead of him. Alexis looked absolutely shattered before being replaced but I just can’t see Arsene sitting him out until

After the Burnley game we have another round of international matches to digest, it’s even worse that it has come around when we are playing so well. Anyway I suspect we will see another unchanged line up for this reason, unless of course someone has a knock. There has been talk of Mesut Ozil possibly missing the game as he did not take part in training but that may well be a case of protecting our star asset, I don’t know. Even though we have the strongest squad we have had in a while, the idea of removing one of our parts frightens me a little. This 11 needs to be left to do it’s funky thing, no need to poke and move anything as performances have been improving game by game and I’d be up for seeing another improved performance this afternoon which might be pushing my luck but worth asking I reckon

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more