Arsenal will look to resurrect their Premier League title bid when they host Swansea City on Wednesday.
The Gunners suffered a damaging 3-2 defeat to injury-ravaged Manchester United over the weekend, while title rivals Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur both won to go clear at the top of the table.
Victory over struggling Swansea is imperative for Arsene Wenger’s men ahead of Saturday’s huge North London derby showdown with Spurs. Will the Frenchman make changes after the United debacle?
Here, CaughtOffside predicts how Arsenal will line up at the Emirates Stadium…
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GK: Petr Cech
Conceded to Lionel Messi for the first time in his career and lost a seven-match unbeaten run against Manchester United – last week was not a good one for the veteran keeper.
RB: Hector Bellerin
The Spaniard v Jefferson Montero would be a real battle of the sprinters if the Ecuadorian winger is restored to the Swans side for their second North London visit in three days.
CB: Laurent Koscielny
The defeat at Old Trafford was the fourth time that an Arsenal defence which included Koscielny had conceded three goals in a game this term. It has happened twice more without him.
CB: Per Mertesacker
Gabriel Paulista was rushed back into the team against the Red Devils, but had a bit of a stinker. Mertesacker should be restored. Arsenal need leaders at this time, and he is one.
LB: Nacho Monreal
Marcus Rashford’s two goals for United on Sunday came from crosses from Arsenal’s left flank – one of the few times this season that the reliable Spaniard has let Arsene Wenger down.
CM: Francis Coquelin
Some managers would not want to risk playing Coquelin three times in a week because of his recent injury layoff, but neither Mathieu Flamini or Mohamed Elneny are trusted alternatives.
CM: Aaron Ramsey
The former Cardiff City youngster should relish the chance to play against the Bluebirds’ fierce rivals. Has one goal in nine appearances against the Swans in his Gunners career.
AMR: Joel Campbell
Theo Walcott was hugely disappointing against United and therefore Campbell deserves an opportunity on the right wing. Scored his first Premier League goal in October’s 3-0 win in Wales.
AMC: Mesut Ozil
With a goal and an assist, Ozil finally turned up in a big game on Sunday – it is a pity that most of his teammates didn’t. Now only two assists short of Thierry Henry’s Premier League record.
AML: Alexis Sanchez
According to The Times, Wenger is considering dropping the Chilean, who is without a league goal since October. But the Gunners boss desperately needs him to find form ahead of the NLD.
ST: Olivier Giroud
Danny Welbeck scored on his first league start in nine months, but may not be ready for three games in a week. Therefore, Giroud may be given a chance to end his nine-game barren streak.
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