Match to be played on Friday January 24 2014 at 19:45 GMT. Venue: Emirates Stadium, London.
Arsene Wenger will have the chance to make changes to his starting line-up for the FA Cup game this Friday against Coventry City, potentially handing starts to some younger players.
Although winning the Premier League is the priority for the club this season, the FA Cup is the last piece of silverware Wenger won in charge of the Gunners and a good performance on Friday would show the side mean business heading into the later rounds.
Here’s the side Wenger could go with for the game.
GK – Lukasz Fabianski
The Pole has been a superb deputy for Wojciech Szczesny whenever he’s been called upon. He may not be as consistent as Arsenal’s current number one but he’s capable of putting together a dominant performance.
RB – Carl Jenkinson
Jenkinson has made ten appearances in the Premier League this season and he stands a good chance of getting a start. He offers pace and control down the right hand side of the pitch.
CB – Per Mertesacker
Wenger may have liked to rest Mertesacker but with Thomas Vermaelen suffering with a knee problem, he doesn’t have much choice. The German’s height and presence will be useful against a League One side who may look to make the game physical.
CB – Laurent Koscielny
Wenger is in a similar position with Koscielny, but he’ll be wary of breaking up the defensive partnership while they’re in good form. The Frenchman has the pace and skill to cope with anything Coventry throw at him.
LB – Kieran Gibbs
Gibbs has performed admirably at left-back for the club this season. He’s as quick as anyone else in the Arsenal squad which will make him important going forward but also filling in defensively.
RM – Serge Gnabry
This is the sort of game that Gnabry should thrive on. He’ll be given almost free reign on Arsenal’s right, tasked with getting at the Coventry left-back and pinning him back towards his own goal.
DM – Mathieu Flamini
Wenger will be wary of complacency in his midfield, which is something that Flamini shouldn’t allow to develop. He will make an almighty fuss if Arsenal’s middle men switch off and invite pressure onto the back four.
CM – Tomas Rosicky
Rosicky was named as a sub in the last league win against Fulham so he’ll be fresh. Amid rumours that Bayern Munich are interested in him, he can show off his ability to control the pace and flow of the game.
AM – Jack Wilshere
Wilshere should enjoy a rare opportunity to push forward, covering all areas of the midfield as well as playing in behind the main striker. He’s in good form and this is a chance for him to maintain that momentum.
LM – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Chamberlain has been playing well for the under-21 side and he got useful game time against Fulham, possibly with this match in mind. He could rotate with Gnabry down both wings throughout the game.
ST – Lukas Podolski
The German forward played for the last 20 minutes against Fulham so he’ll also be fresh. He can drift across the Coventry back four and will aim to occupy multiple defenders and create space for others.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald