Football

Arsenal predicted XI vs. Coventry City

The OX ready to start
The OX ready to start.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will have last season's shock FA Cup defeat to Blackburn Rovers at the forefront of his mind when selecting his starting XI for tomorrow night's fourth-round clash with Coventry City.

The Gunners crashed out to Blackburn at the Emirates less than 12 months ago in a humiliating defeat Wenger will be desperate to avoid repeating, so expect a strong lineup to be named for the visit of the Sky Blues on Friday night.

Wenger's ability to rotate has also been hampered by a string of injury problems, with Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta still on an injury list which features long-term absentees Theo Walcott and Yaya Sanogo.

Nicklas Bendtner is back from an ankle ligament problem though and could start in attack to give Olivier Giroud a rest, while Lukas Podolski is also pushing for a recall either in a lone front role or on the left flank.

Injuries in midfield give Wenger little room for manoeuvre to rotate his central options, which means Jack Wilshere, Mathieu Flamini and Mesut Ozil should all keep their places from the side which beat Fulham 2-0 last weekend.

On the flanks Serge Gnabry and Santi Cazorla are both hoping to retain a starting spot, but Wenger may well rest the pair and give Oxlade-Chamberlain his first start since returning from a five-month injury lay-off.

Kieran Gibbs is another player hoping to earn a first-team recall after easing his way back injury in support of Nacho Monreal, while Carl Jenkinson also looks likely to step in for Bacary Sagna.

Question marks over Thomas Vermaelen's fitness means the unbeaten central defensive partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny will continue though, in an effort to stretch their run of games unbeaten when completing 90 minutes to 30 matches.

Arsenal predicted starting XI to face Coventry City: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Flamini, Wilshere, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gnabry, Podolski

Topics:
Coventry City
FA Cup
Arsenal
Football

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