Arsene Wenger has a selection problem he will relish as the boss has the option of playing either Mesut Özil or Santi Cazorla in the number 10 role against Aston Villa on Sunday. However, Arsenal may have to manage without the services of Alexis Sanchez, who has arguably been their best player so far this season.
New signing Gabriel Paulista, who has recently arrived from Villarreal may make his debut for the Gunners on Sunday while Danny Welbeck has been ruled out. Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta are still nursing their injuries, which means Francis Coquelin will play alongside Aaron Ramsey in a deeper role in the midfield.
In the defence, Arsenal will rely on Mertesacker and Koscielny to do their job in the centre, despite new signing Paulista available for selection. The former Villarreal defender is expected to start the game on the sidelines.
Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, will be delighted with the quality of midfielders available at his disposal. Aaron Ramsey has had a good rest and the in-form midfielder Francis Coquelin is sure to partner him in a deeper role. Meanwhile, with Mesut Özil, back to full fitness and also back on the scoresheet is contending for the number 10 role with Santi Cazorla on a hot run of form. Also competing for the spot is Rosicky after his masterclass display at the Amex Stadium. However, the Russian is expected to start the game from the bench.
The frontline might pose bit of a problem for Arsenal as Alexis Sanchez faces a late fitness test and is a doubt for the game with Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ruled out with thigh and groin injury respectively. Olivier Giroud, however is available and Theo Walcott is fit enough to start the game with either of Özil or Cazorla expected to feature on the flank.
Arsene Wenger is quite satisfied with the squad he has in hand, despite the unavailability of some important players. Wenger expressed his contention with the amount of rest his players have enjoyed.
“We have a good, balanced squad now,” he said. “It’s a compact, short squad but it’s of top quality and the advantage it can have is that many players have been rested. Aaron Ramsey had a good rest, and Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny, Ozil and Rosicky have not been overloaded with games. Theo Walcott is now coming back slowly, so all these players are not overloaded.”