Arsene Wenger has provided the latest team update ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup 4th round tie with Southampton.
The Gunners travel to St Mary’s for a 5.30 kick off, knowing their recent record away from home against the Saints has not been great.
There’s also the issue of Tuesday night’s Premier League tie with Watford to take into consideration, meaning there’s likely to be a measure of rotation.
Having not played since December 21st, there’s a a return for Theo Walcott, while two defenders are going to be back in action soon.
“We have Walcott who is back in the squad,” he said, “and we lose Xhaka because he’s suspended. Overall that’s it [for the weekend].
“There’s good news because Mertesacker and Debuchy are back in full training tomorrow, so that’s good, the squad is quite big.
“The only problem is central midfield, Elneny is away, so we’re a bit short there.”
Asked about his team for the Southampton game, he hinted there would be some changes, but that there’d also be plenty of experience in there too.
“We will put out a team with first team experience,” he said. “One or two young players but not more than that.
“It’s the first team squad that will be involved.”
play lucas perez plzz
Yes! I feel a bit terrible for Lucas.
He has conducted himself excellently when called upon. Yes he deserves to play more, but we are winning and in the race regardless of media bullshit. He will get more chances, and his output has been excellent. He seems the focussed type that would channel that into professional performances and he makes our squad a lot better in situations of rotation and fixture congestion. With him, Giroud and Theo (less so since injury) scoring when called upon, we have been a much better force this season. Even if our build up play is slightly wonky sometimes. Perez is a credit… Read more »
Totally agree, he has been an excellent buy and a total professional. His goal against Bournemouth is my favorite Gunners goal this campaign. The scorpion is nuts but there is something about the placement of that strike that warms the innards.
Good news that people are coming back, Theo did well in the first half of the season. But annoying about Xhaka, whether you blame him and/or the ref.
Should have a strong team out, will be a tough match there against a team buoyed by their Liverpool win.
At least this game eats into his ban.
will the decision be out by then?
Only waiting for Santiago Cazorla/Munez to come back and score the winning free kick to win the CL in the 90th minute against Madrid
Munez? I think you mean Sanogo.
Ospina, Debuchy, Gabriel, Mustafa, Monreal, Coquelin, Maitland-Niles, Ozil, Ox, Giroud, Welbeck
Ozil won’t play – Gibbs will play instead of Monreal, Bellerin may play due to lack of game time recently, one of Mustafi or Kos will be rested!!
Ospina Gibbs Kosc Gabriel Maitland-Niles Coq Ramsey Iwobi Perez Welbz Giroud
Bellerin, KOC, Gabriel (holding?), Gibbs
Ramsey, Coq, Iwobi
Perez, Welbz, Chamberlain.
Giroud looked sluggish again last match, better to give him a bit of rest. Bellerin has had enough matches off, need him now. Øzil and Sanchez needs rest.
I am pretty sure Sanchez will be on that pitch tomorrow.
Sanchez will be playing.
Oh thank God you are not the manager.
For starters, Debuchy just returning into full training, and throw him right there against a Southampton that just beat Liverpool? And hey Maitland-Niles cuz why the heck not!
Debuchy coming to full training on Friday. Cant play
I wish we had elneny for this one!
Perfect game for Welbeck to start up front or on the wing.
Coq- Rambo midfield axis always worries me but we are due a win over the saints who won’t have the rest our lads have had.
s’ton has proven to be our bogey team over the last few years. It’s just about time arsenal gives them a real hiding alà Swansea city recently.
I’m looking forward to this match.
someone thumbed you down for looking forward to a game of football?
To be fair, it’s Southampton away, where our (full strength) midfield has been overrun and even bullied in the past few years…
Seriously who dislikes this? Controversial comment of the year, I like football.
I like Turtles
Are u whys that, the saints av fucked us up in past home and away , they are at the twin towers by beating lpool , i hope wenger puts out a strong team and i may av a few strong drinks for this one.
Jennings, Rice, Nelson, O’Leary, Young, Rix, Brady, Price, Talbot, Stapleton, Sunderland.
Easy 3-0 win with that line-up.
“One or two young players”- Holding and Maitland-Niles are the only ones I could think of. And then there are players like The Ox, Gibbs, Ospina, Perez, Wellbeck and Walcott waiting for their chance. And for sure you can’t deny Sanchez the chance to kick a ball. So it’s probably Giroud and Iwobi who make place for the many attacking options we have atm
Probably something like this:
Not sure if Welbeck is fit to start yet, expect him to come in at around sixty minutes. Wenger could also surprise everyone and start AML in midfield, as he did with Iwobi last season
Could be Mustafi at CB and Gabriel at RB too. A bit worried that Ramsey and Coq will possibly play 3 game soon in a week now, as would prefer them to be fresh against Chelsea. Ozil and Alexis on the bench ready to come in if needed, we should have enough quality to win this without them with our squad depth.
I think Giroud and Iwobi will sit this one out. We have 7-8 fit attacking options atm. If we start with OX-Sanchez-Perez we still have Welbeck, Walcott and maybe even The Jeff on the bench. I also think that Özil should start, not going to be an easy game…
Out of the coming 3 matches, this is the one that we can afford not to win (though would of course prefer us to win this). That is why I think we shouldn’t start Ozil and Alexis. Southampton aren’t 100% physically after their midweek game and we have enough firepower in Walcott, Perez, Welbeck to beat them imo. We could, if needed, bring in Alexis and Ozil in the end against tired legs. Giroud and Iwobi are not irreplaceable in our starting eleven so would rather start them in this match to keep some continuity in our starting eleven and… Read more »
It’s the most Arsenal thing in the world to head into the season with supposedly too many central midfielders, yet find ourselves “a bit short” in that department now.
Given the fact I feel Southampton will play on the counter attack I think this team may be selected . Ospina, hector, mustafi , Gabriel, Gibbs, coq, ox , Perez ,iwobi , ozil, Welbeck . I know a trophy is a trophy , but I’d prefer to finish as high up the league as possible so resting players for Watford is important
I think I would prefer 4th place plus FA Cup (as long as Spuds are 5th) rather than 2nd place and no trophy.
I need Wenger to play Alexis against Southampton to avoid the previous defeat from repeating itself
Happy to see some players who deserve to play aren’t playing,if you find a team where all players on the bench are real supposed to be there that is not a top team,am looking forward to see perez proves he is not a bench warmer
Predicted team line up vs saints:
Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Gibbs,
Perez Iwobi Chamberlain
Subs: Cech, Niles, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud, Monreal, Koscienly.
Arsenal to win 2-1. Perez to score first.
Mesut and Alexis will surely be in the lineup. Mesut will play, at the very least. Wenger will definitely not put both on the bench. That’s for sure.
Dixon Adams Bould winter burn
What about subs?
Groves, Hayes, O’Leary, Davis?
We basically have to go Coq/Ramsey now. It’s crazy how over the course of the season you can go from having ridiculous depth at a position to having to select whoever is still availabe.
Wilshere should have exercised more parience.
I think we might have to leave out one of Coquelin/ Ramsey can’t risk both with our midfield shortage. Good chance for others to make a statement and gain some vital game time against an in form team who know how to play us. It’s time to show up and win. COYG
Agree, either in this or the Watford match
I feel like that’s a luxury we can’t afford at the moment. Who would slot in – Ox for Ramsey? It’s an injury risk to play them but I also think it’s a massive risk of getting knocked out/dropping points to rest them. I think I would roll the dice and play them in both matches.
The question mark after “Ox for Ramsey” was a typo.
I bet forster is already practicing his time wasting…
When Perez scores after 5 mins, we’ll see how quickly Forster takes his goal kicks.
I hate playing Southampton away. An annoyingly good and well organized side. And also constantly listening to when the saints come marching in…. Grindingly dull.
Yep, always nervous about playing them.
Ox. Iwobi. Perez
Welbz needs to be the striker up front to get his balls back. He’s been out too long. He doesnt have the penetration from the wing that la liga experienced lucas would. Good opportunity to rest up Giroud. Lucas on the left, Ox on the right, iwobi playing ozil, Cow and Ramsey in midfield and the back of bellerin gabriel kos and gibbs. Ospina in goal.
I don’t see Sanchez sitting this one out. Only question is if he will start on the wing or up front. The match is very important, too! It’s the FA Cup and a nice Trophy