CONFIRMED: Arsenal & Cardiff City lineups - Podolski returns!

Here is how Arsenal and Cardiff City will line-up for this afternoon’s match at the Emirates Stadium:

Arsenal starting XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Flamini, Wilshere, Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski.

Subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Rosicky, Ryo, Gnabry, Bendtner.

Cardiff City starting XI: Marshall; McNaughton, Caulker, Turner, John; Whittingham, Medel, Kim, Noone, Mutch; Campbell.

Subs: Lewis; Hudson, Cornelius, Smith, Gunnarsson, Cowie, Maynard.

Arsene Wenger welcomes forward Lukas Podolski back to his starting line-up.

Many commentators and fans alike have called on Arsenal to recruit a striker in order to provide cover, or competition, for Olivier Giroud in the lone goal-scoring role.

However, in the Frenchman's absence (due to injury), Podolski is preferred to Nicklas Bendtner and, with a productive showing, could win the argument that it is he who could share the finishing burden along with Giroud.

Elsewhere, Nacho Monreal replaces Kieran Gibbs and Theo Walcott will look to push on from his recent strong displays.

image: © lodekka

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