Ospina starts, Iwobi keeps his place: Arsenal v Watford teams

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Arsenal team news

Back to Premier League action today as we face Watford – just weeks after being beaten by the Hornets in the FA Cup.

Here are the men tasked to get some revenge today.

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Elneny, Ozil, Alexis, Iwobi, Welbeck

Subs: Cech, Chambers, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Giroud, Walcott, Campbell

Watford: Gomes (GK); Nyom, Prödl, Cathcart, Ake; Capoue, Watson, Suarez; Abdi, Deeney; Ighalo

Subs: Pantilimon (GK), Britos, Guedioura, Anya, Berghuis, Jurado, Amrabat.

Follow the game and chat with other Gooners on the Arseblog live blog

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Rg21
Rg21

Is mert carrying a knock or has he lost his place?

Limerickgooner
Limerickgooner

I am really starting to believe that Gallas cursed the Arsenal captaincy. Mertesacker has simply been filling in for Arteta for too long and has fallen victim to it.

Joel Carter
Joel Carter

Lost his place.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Looks like he’s lost his place. I don’t get it tbh.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Gabriel is a bad player (he played much better before Christmas than he has been recently), but I think we’re better with Mertesacker.

Is it because of his error against Barcelona, or was it since the Chelsea game, and the only reason he was playing in the intervening period was because Gabriel was injured?

In any case, I don’t think Gabriel has made a great case for himself since featuring since the Newcastle game in January (I thought him and Koscielny looked shaky in that game and against Burnley: two games where they shouldn’t really have been tested at all).

Stonroy
Stonroy

I wonder if Campbell will be here next year.

TheArsenalWay
TheArsenalWay

He deserves more chances for sure, hope he stays. But I think he played 90 minutes yesterday against Jamaica so that’s probably why he’s not starting.

Paul
Paul

He got back quick then??!

TheArsenalWay
TheArsenalWay

Apologies, it was Tuesday.

Paul
Paul

Who would you drop for him?

Joblow
Joblow

And with Wilshere who is ever knocked coming back soon i am sure Wenger will replace Campbell on the bench with him. So highly unlikely to see more of him this season. Disappointing!!! But you know what they say… Talent will always rise!!

T-H
T-H

Schrödinger’s Ospina

Kenyan Gooner
Kenyan Gooner

I have a feeling Iwobi will score the first. Alexis the second. Welbeck will head in an Ozil FK.

Paul
Paul

Well you got the first two the wrong way round! But I may stick a bet on Welbeck to score next! 🙂

Paul
Paul

Strong team COYG!

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Cech on the bench? He’s either fit or he’s not – I don’t get that. If he’s not fit enough to start, how can he be fit enough to come off the bench?

Sean
Sean

I don’t get why people (both fans and pundits) seem to have such a problem with this. Petr Cech is available to be used IF needed, but ideally Wenger doesn’t want to throw him in too soon, and feels secure with Ospina for this game. Remember Fabregas against Villa in 2009? So no, it’s not as straight forward as “he’s either fit or he’s not”.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

The problem I have is this:

If he is risking injury by playing that indicates that he is not at full fitness. If that is the case, how would it not be risking injury by playing him IF needed, as a substitute?

If you’re saying he is ‘lacking in fitness/sharpness/(insert phrase here)’ what fitness does he need as a goalkeeper? They barely move all game – if he can make saves and take kicks, what more fitness does he need?

David C
David C

wow, no midfielders on the bench. Avenge the FA Cup defeat and hope Liverpool and Southampton do us a favour!

COYG!

bob

Even though I can see why this team would start, I wonder why Joel hasn’t gotten a look in.

Paul
Paul

So Iwobi can do the business for 70 mins and then he can come on I rekon…

Talbot's neighbour
Talbot's neighbour

Goals from the bench…. Just to improve the GD when we’re 2 up

Almunia
Almunia

Campell is a barca type player… Passing range, pressing, finding spaces in the box, can beat an opponent… He will not be short on suitors. He’ll definitely be a big player

Joblow
Joblow

Wonder if Wenger will give Campbell a run in today. Seems like a long time since we last seen him after all the progress he has made. Sad!!! Sigh!!!