Predicted XI: Arsenal vs Manchester City

Arsenal return to Premier League action this Sunday, adrift of the top four and in their worst run of form in years. The international break, however, allowed players to have a breather away from the difficult atmosphere surrounding the Emirates recently.

Lucas Perez, Santi Cazorla and Petr Cech are the only absentees ahead of the clash with Pep Guardiola’s men, so here is our predicted lineup, in a 4-3-3 formation.

GK: David Ospina

With Petr Cech injured, the Colombian goalkeeper will earn his first Premier League start of the season without any doubt, and will need to be at his very best to stop City’ offensive arsenal.

RB: Hector Bellerin

The Spaniard has looked shaky in recent games but considering the replacements, he’s set to start once again. He’ll need to improve on his final ball though, as his crosses were a big disappointment in recent weeks.

CB: Shkodran Mustafi

The German is going through a tough spell at the moment but his quality is still undeniable and his partnership with Koscielny is still the best that Arsenal have. With Gabriel proving to be not good enough for Arsenal and Mertesacker lacking game time.

CB: Laurent Koscielny

Often carrying Arsenal’s back four on his back this season, he’ll need to be at his best once again to revive Arsenal’s top four challenge, facing a striker – Sergio Aguero – that he has often pocketed. 

LB: Nacho Monreal

Arsenal will need to strengthen in this position this summer but for now, Nacho should get the nod ahead of Gibbs, as per most of the season so far. He’ll need help defensively though, to avoid giving Sterling too much freedom to operate.

CDM: Granit Xhaka

The Gunners’ best player at West Brom, he is a definite starter in the team in the absence of Cazorla, a key player linking defence and attack, especially when played in a 4-3-3.

CM: Aaron Ramsey

There have been rumours that Ramsey may miss out today but if he’s fit,, the Welshman should start. 

CM: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The Ox has been Arsenal’s best player in 2017 and the chances of seeing him dropped for such a game are very slim; he’ll look to build on his very good performance in midfield for England. A real box-to-box midfielder.

RW: Theo Walcott

In balance with Danny Welbeck, Theo should start given his impact in big games (Liverpool, City, Bayern) and his overall goals tally  (17), except if Alexis is pushed to the wing.

ST: Alexis Sanchez

Amid all the rumours, no doubt the Chilean will start after his injury scare at the Hawthorns beforre the international break. He played 180 minutes for Chile during the week, scoring a beautiful free-kick, we should see him return to the striker position.

LW: Mesut Özil

Finally in contention to start after back and hamstring injuries, Özil should start on the left wing unless he ends up not being fit for the game. It’s been a very tough beginning to 2017, between illness, injuries and poor performances. Welbeck or Alexis could also start on that left wing to offer more defensive work in order to stop Sterling.

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