Arsene Wenger has a few selection headaches at hand as Arsenal prepare to host Chelsea at the Emirates on Wednesday.
Arsenal will be looking to put the disappointment of the controversial New Year’s Eve draw against West Bromwich Albion when they welcome Chelsea to the Emirates on Wednesday. Ahead of the eagerly awaited London derby, we take a look at how Arsene Wenger could line his side up.
In goal, the duties are clearly divided between David Ospina and Petr Cech, who’s the designated shot stopper in the Premier League and should start on Wednesday as well. Ahead of the veteran goalkeeper though, there are a few problems for the Arsenal boss.
Laurent Koscielny is doubtful for the visit of Chelsea after hobbling off against West Brom, with Wenger and his medical staff ‘pessimistic’ over his availability. Also likely to miss out on Wednesday, is Sead Kolasinac, who picked up an injury in the same game as well.
In the absence of Kolasinac, Ainsley Maitland-Niles becomes an obvious deputy, with the youngster impressing in the chances that have been afforded to him this season. In Koscielny’s stead, Wenger could either shift to a back-four with Calum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi at the heart of defence.
Alternatively, and in a more likely scenario, the Arsenal boss could call upon Per Mertesacker to take up Koscielny’s place in the back-three. Up ahead in midfield, Jack Wilshere and Granit Xhaka are near-automatic selections, with Aaron Ramsey still on the sidelines.
In attack, there’s more problems for Wenger, with Mesut Ozil nursing a knee injury. The German playmaker faces a late fitness test to determine his availability, but having not trained since the win over Crystal Palace last week, he is only likely to be on the bench for Arsenal on Wednesday.
Should he indeed be unable to start, Alex Iwobi is expected to be the man to line up alongside Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette in attack, despite being poor for the most part in recent weeks. Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott are the alternatives for Wenger.