After a shaky start against Koln in their first group stage game of the Europa League, Premier League outfit Arsenal came back strongly in the second half and smashed three goals to take the game away from the visiting side at the Emirates Stadium to secure a 3-1 win, thanks to goals from Sead Kolasinac, Alexis Sanchez and Hector Bellerin.
The red half of North London will shift their focus to the English top division once again as they are due to take on their arch-rivals Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Here is how we expect Arsene Wenger to dish out his starting line-up against Antonio Conte’s men.
A three-man defensive wall comprising of Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny and Skhodran Mustafi, could be stationed. Per Mertesacker and Rob Holding are expected to be dropped to the bench by Wenger after their midweek Europa League game against the Billy Goats.
Arsenal’s defence has been questioned time and again of late, and it goes without saying that they would need to do the basics right against the Blues to better their ratings. Between the sticks, Petr Cech is expected to be given the nod to start after being rested against Koln.
Former Schalke man Kolasinac is expected to start form the left wing-back whereas Hector Bellerin is anticipated to start from the right wing-back position. Kolasinac changed the complexion of the game after coming on to the pitch in the second half against Koln and a similar, electrifying performance will be expected this weekend when they lock horns against the Pensioners.
Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin are out injured and thus, to be stationed in the middle of the park is likely to be the pair of Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka. These two midfielders have united together well and would be entrusted the responsibilities of cushioning the backline and creating the platform for their offensive teammates to launch forward and to break the attacking endeavours of the opposition.
The Gunners are likely to pencil a strong attacking line to unlock Chelsea’s stubborn defence, with summer signing Alexandre Lacazette spearheading their offensive arrangement.
The Frenchman would get ample amount of support from Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, with the pace and exuberance of the former and the creativity and vision of the latter being the prime reasons as to why Wenger would engineer them in his starting line-up against the reigning league champions.
Here is how they might line up: