Stoke City vs Arsenal
Saturday 6 December, 15:00 KO
Arsenal travel to the Britannia Stadium looking for their third consecutive Premier League victory and fourth clean sheet in a row in all competitions after impressive results against Borussia Dortmund, West Bromwich Albion and Southampton in the past two weeks.
Arsene Wenger has been boosted by the return to fitness of first-choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, but has opted to keep the impressive Damian Martinez between the sticks, while Laurent Koscielny has been dropped to the bench as the Gunners boss continues to take a cautious approach to the centre-back's recovery.
The France international has already played two games in the space of five days, and after an extended period out of action needs to be managed carefully in order to avoid an injury recurrence.
Calum Chambers moves across to partner Per Mertesacker in the middle of defence, with Hector Bellerin coming in at right-back to take Koscielny's place in the team. Kieran Gibbs has also been deemed fit enough to start, so he replaces Nacho Monreal at left-back.
In midfield, Wenger names the same five players that started against Saints on Wednesday, with the only change in the front six seeing Olivier Giroud return to the starting line-up in place of Danny Welbeck, who drops to the bench.
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Stoke City starting XI: Begovic, Bardsley, Shawcross, Muniesa, Pieters; Nzonzi, Cameron, Diouf, Bojan, Walters, Crouch.
Subs: Butland, Huth, Whelan, Ireland, Adam, Assaidi, Shenton.
Arsenal starting XI: Martinez; Bellerin, Chambers, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Flamini, Ramsey; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis, Cazorla; Giroud.
Subs: Szczesny, Koscielny, Ajayi, Maitland-Niles, Campbell, Podolski, Welbeck.
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