The changes Wenger could make for Liverpool FA Cup clash

Ozil Off Bendtner On

The Arsenal manager confirmed the absence of Santi Cazorla due to illness but welcomes back Mathieu Flamini from suspension, with others set for recalls.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is set to ring the changes to his Gunners squad for Liverpool's visit on Sunday in the FA Cup.

With Olivier Giroud, Mikel Arteta and Mesut Özil, in particular, all looking jaded from their midweek exploits in the 0-0 bore draw with Manchester United.

And it seems Wenger, with one eye on the Champions League round-of-16 clash with Bayern Munich on Wednesday night, is ready to tinker with his lineup to ensure there are no examples of burnt out individuals when they take on the Bundesliga leaders.

Here are just some of the players the Frenchman could look to bring in this weekend...

Lukasz Fabianski

It may seem odd to draft in a goalkeeper when Wojciech Szczesny has excelled so far this season, but the lack of first-team football Fabianski has experienced this season could force Wenger's hand.

Fabianski is set to depart in the summer but, with the increasingly bizarre summer signing of Emiliano Viviano out in the cold, this could be the Pole's final chance to stake a claim for the No.1 jersey which is currently held by Szczesny.

It allows the latter a chance to recuperate ahead of the final throes of the season but Wenger will undoubtedly face the wrath of the fans if the experiment fails to pay off.

Carl Jenkinson

The right-back has seldom been called upon so far this season, with Bacary Sagna back to full fitness and in the form of his Gunners career at present.

Jenkinson has made 15 appearances in all competitions so far this season but his fall from grace has seen him fielded in competitions other than the Premier League and this weekend represents another chance for him to try and impress Wenger through the cup competitions.

The form of Sagna has been so impressive that, as such, Jenkinson will have to help to quell the scary forward quartet of Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge to force his way back into the first team.

Nacho Monreal

The Spaniard struggled at Anfield last weekend as Liverpool ran riot against the Gunners, but he could be set for an instant recall after Kieran Gibbs was given the nod for the midweek clash with United.

But given Gibbs' chequered injury record, there is an opening once more for the former Malaga left-back to come in and prove his worth against the same opposition which gave him such a torrid time last week.

Wenger has picked Monreal regularly recently but another poor performance tomorrow could see Gibbs cement the left-back spot.

Mathieu Flamini

The no-nonsense midfielder is exactly what Arsenal were missing in the defeat to Liverpool, as they rued a lack of shape, organisation and discipline in the 5-1 mauling.

The Gunners were torn through with alarming ease in midfield, leaving the defence exposed and the Reds were able to exploit the gaps they were afforded brutally.

Flamini's superb passing accuracy is also something which has been oddly missing from Wenger's side in his absence. The manner in which they surrendered possession against Liverpool and United at times will be combatted by the Frenchman's presence at the heart of the midfield.

Nicklas Bendtner

The Dane is likely to be given another audition to showcase his ability as Olivier Giroud's deputy. The Frenchman looks exhausted by the burden he is having to carry and his performances this week have said as much.

Bendtner continues to flatter to deceive in an Arsenal shirt and it spoke volumes that Wenger persisted with Giroud despite his toils against United when he had a plethora of attacking reinforcements on the bench.

He needs a big game and, like Fabianski, this match smacks of the last chance saloon for Bendtner at Arsenal.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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