Arsenal face a trip to newly promoted Leicester City on Sunday in the Premier League and manager Arsene Wenger has one or two selection problems to solve going into the game.
The Gunners had a mixed week leading up to this match, with the disappointment of confirming that Olivier Giroud will be out until 2015 with a broken leg being alleviated somewhat by the victory over Besiktas at Emirates Stadium securing Champions League group stage football for the 17th consecutive season.
New man decided things
New signing Alexis Sanchez scored the solitary goal in the two-legged tie and it was he who was thrust into the hole left by Giroud’s absence, Wenger favouring the summer signing over both Yaya Sanogo and Lukas Podolski to lead the line.
That decision could be indicative of the Frenchman’s thinking for the time that Giroud will be out, provided he does not go into the transfer market for a striker before the summer transfer window closes on Monday night.
Hit and miss so far
However, having Sanchez in that position failed spectacularly away at Everton and he was removed at half time for Giroud with the Gunners 2-0 down - the France international picked up his injury after scoring the 90th minute equaliser to make it 2-2 - so Wenger may prefer the presence of Sanogo against the Foxes.
Wenger will be without left-back Kieran Gibbs for the trip to the King Power Stadium and club captain Mikel Arteta, who picked up an ankle injury in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier.
They are injury problems that were present for the Besiktas match, so the team will likely be similar to that other than the absence of Aaron Ramsey, who was suspended for the game after being sent off in the first leg.
Arsenal will also have to consider fatigue picked up from what was a tough match against a very accomplished Turkish side – having Mathieu Debuchy sent off with 15 minutes remaining didn’t help much in that regard – and a number of players, such as Mesut Ozil, Sanchez and Santi Cazorla, looked dead on their feet in the final stages.
With these factors in mind, here is the GiveMeSport predicted Arsenal starting XI for the clash with Leicester City…
Szczesny; Debuchy, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Flamini, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Rosicky; Sanogo.
What do you think of this predicted Arsenal starting XI? Who would you have in the team instead? Leave a comment below to let us know…