Match to be played on Saturday 30th November 2013 at 15:00. Venue: Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff.
Following their impressive victory against Marseille in the Champions League, Arsenal now face up to a very different proposition: how to beat Cardiff City in what is fast-becoming something of a bogey-ground for the Premier League elite.
The Bluebirds have already drawn with Manchester United and Everton, and taken all three points against Manchester City, at home this season. They have also seen off their fierce rivals Swansea City. So what team will Arsene Wenger choose in an attempt to do what only Tottenham and Newcastle have managed so far and come away from Cardiff with a victory?
Surely Wenger’s mantra will be “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” with the majority of the side who began Arsenal’s 2-0 victory on Tuesday starting against Malky Mackay’s men.
Having been rested due to illness, Kieran Gibbs should be fit to return to the starting line-up in place of Nacho Monreal. And while Jack Wilshere’s double has surely rendered him un-droppable – at least for now – the only other change I can see is Santi Cazorla replacing Tomas Rosicky.
Given Theo Walcott’s recent return from injury – and the impact he could have from the bench in what is likely to be a tight contest – expect to see him for the final 20 minutes or so.
Here is how I expect the league leaders to start against Cardiff:
Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Flamini, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud