After the triviality of the mid-week Champions League game it’s back to the bread and butter of the Premiership. A Saturday 3 pm kick-off should suit the team pretty well, plenty of recovery time from the last match and sufficient before the next.
Even as an away fixture Hull City shouldn’t present to much of a problem…should it? Well let’s hope not.
There can’t be too many players in dire need of a break and with the next fixture being the EFL cup, there should be no thought of resting players ahead of it. Neither should there be any thought of playing a weakened side just because it’s “only” Hull City.
The Tigers, as their owner Assem Allam likes them to be known, field a couple of old Spuds in Michael Dawson and Tom Huddlestone, they at least will take the opportunity to kick as many of our lads as possible and as their usual style of defending is akin to tag-team wrestling, we should expect to win at least one penalty award. They also have Chuba Akpom a loanee from Arsenal, but he is contractually unavailable to play against us.
Let’s move on to the more contentious matter of our manager’s team selection. Following his heroics against PSG, it would be logical to stick with David Ospina in goal (notice I give him his full name I only do that for players who are in my good books). However as logic is a seldom used concept in Wenger’s thought processes I expect Petr Cech to be recalled. (Full name, good books).
There seems little reason not to play the regular back four, Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustaffi, Laurent Koscienly and Nacho (first name only, a bit iffy) who has come in for a bit of criticism following the last match, probably not the time to bring in Gibbs (surname only, out of favour).
Wenger is on record as praising the midfield partnership of Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin, as he says, they have played together fifty or sixty times. Whether or not successfully I’ll leave to your own judgement.
It goes without saying that the names of both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are already printed on the team sheet. Which leaves us with just two more names to add.
As I’ve said before, I don’t think the Alexis Sanchez as central striker experiment is working so the alternative should be Giroud, He’s fit, at last, has been scoring for France and needs a bit of game time to build his confidence. With Theo nursing a ”small” knee injury (Wenger’s words [note surname only]), the way is open for a debut start for our newest signing Lucas Perez (full name, benefit of the doubt in his case).
So, I see our line-up as:-
As this is for an away fixture I might be tempted to play Santi Cazorla in place of Mesut Ozil as I don’t think we get the best from the German away from the Emirates.
For the sake of brevity I’m now going to revert to surnames only.
Until the defence is a more settled and cohesive unit I feel it is wise to put two defensive minded mid-fielders in front of them, hence Elneny and Xhaka. I don’t think Ozil plays at his best in places like Hull City and putting both him and Cazorls together is a bit of an unaffordable luxury.
I would like to see Lucas given the freedom to make runs from deep onto long passes, behind the defenders, from Xhaka.
I would also like to see a few more shots on goal, from both inside and outside the box.
We have enough talent and fire power to deal with any threat Hull City can offer, we should win the game comfortably, I believe we will.
Written by Norfolk Gooner