Predicted Arsenal XI to play Liverpool - Gnabry in, Podolski out

Match to be played on Saturday 8th February 2014 at 12:45. Venue: Anfield, Liverpool.

Arsenal face one of their most difficult challenges so far this season when they take on Liverpool at Anfield this weekend.

This is a very important game for the Gunners as they look to try and protect their lead at the top of the Premier League, piling the pressure back onto Manchester City and Chelsea below them.

Here’s the side Arsene Wenger could select for the game.

GK – Wojciech Szczesny

The Pole is now a very reliable option for Arsenal in goal. He commands his back four well and makes good decisions in the big games.

RB – Bacary Sagna

Speculation has been rife this week over a new contract for Sagna and if he really wants to stay at Arsenal, this is another chance for him to show why he deserves his terms.

CB – Per Mertesacker

The big German thrives in these sorts of games and he’ll be up for the challenge of trying to nullify Luis Suarez’ threat in the Liverpool attack.

CB – Laurent Koscielny

The Frenchman won’t have any problems with the pace Liverpool use to hit Arsenal on the counter attack. He’s reading the game well and is consistent with his defensive positions around the back four.

LB – Nacho Monreal

Monreal has been playing well and should stay on the left hand side of the defence. It will be important for Arsenal that he can get forward and provide extra width on his side.

RM – Serge Gnabry

One change Wenger could make is bringing Gnabry back into the team for his pace. There will be times when Arsenal are pinned back and that pace would be useful on the counter attack.

DM – Mikel Arteta

Arteta took a slight knock in the game against Crystal Palace but he should start. He has an important role to play in terms of breaking up the play and moving possession on quickly.

CM – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The Ox will most likely play in a slightly more advanced central midfield role. He’ll be full of confidence after bagging a brace last weekend.

AM – Mesut Ozil

Ozil needs a big performance in this game, which will have a positive effect on his teammates and the travelling Arsenal fans. He can tear Liverpool apart in a couple of minutes.

LM – Santi Cazorla

Cazorla has played a left midfield role already this season but don’t expect him to stay out wide. He’s at his best when he comes in and he could swap with Oxlade-Chamberlain at some point.

ST – Olivier Giroud

This is a huge match for Giroud because Liverpool will target him as a main goal threat. If he can counter Liverpool’s tactics then he may be the man who wins Arsenal this game.

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