The XI: Arsenal vs Leeds United
Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Thierry Henry is likely to feature for Arsenal after re-signing on a loan deal, but top scorer Robin Van Persie will be be rested while Gervinho heads off early for Africa Cup of Nations duty unlike Marouane Chamakh who will be joining Morocco only after Monday’s FA Cup tie.
The Gunners are struggling for fit defenders and will be without Johan Djourou who is on a one-match ban.
Forgotten men Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere, Kierran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson and Andre Santos remain unavailable along with the soon-to-return Thomas Vermaelen and Bacary Sagna.
Youngsters Yennaris and Miquel at fullback is the only decent choice since there aren’t even fit enough players to play in a make-shift defense.
Yes, Thierry Henry is available, but for a player who is just coming in, his best impact will be as a substitute. Other than that, Benayoun deserves a chance over Arshavin. Rosicky is the most capable choice to play in central midfield if Arteta, Ramsey and Song are to be rested while Coquelin and Chamberlain deserve their reward.
And yes, Squillaci will/can play. Vermaelen is injured, Mertesacker needs a rest and so does Song. Indeed, Squillaci is better than most critics make him look. There was a time at the beginning of last season when had a solid partnership with Koscielny. He may not be fast, but he is probably quicker than Mertesacker.
Chamakh and Park need games if they are ever going to grow in confidence.