Bellerin – Mertesacker – Chambers – Monreal
Ox – Coquelin
Campbell – Cazorla – Podolski
Certain missing names from the line-up is in no disrespect to a side like QPR who will pose a real threat on boxing day.
With the fixtures coming thick and fast, home games are a golden opportunity to rest some vital legs. At the back, Bellerin should return to the frame considering his mercurial show against Newcastle and the fact that Mathieu Debuchy – who only recently returned from a serious injury – needs to be rested. And knowing Kierran Gibbs, some rotation has to be done as soon as possible or else…
If not for the lack of options, the young Calum Chambers – “who has played too many games for a 19-year-old” according to Wenger – would warrant a rest a too. But excluding the calamity which occurred the last time he was paired with Per Mertesacker at Stoke City, Chambers actually proved to be a solid choice at centre-back during the start of the season. He is currently too clumsy and lacks enough pace to flourish at right-back but let us hope that is only down to fatigue.
Mathieu Flamini needs a breather to sort himself out while Francis Coquelin gets his turn and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s first consistent run in the first team for a long time should be allowed to continue.
Santi Cazorla’s performances in the last two games means he’s currently one of the first names on the team sheet, but if there is a time to rest Alexis Sanchez, this should be it.
The same can be said about Danny Welbeck who has recently been playing in the same position he left Manchester United for. Joel Campbell and Lukas Podolski, arguably the two most action-hungry men in the squad, should provide better service from the flanks for the in-form Olivier Giroud.