Predicted Arsenal XI to play Sunderland - Time to rest Ozil?

Emirates Sunshine

Match to be played on Saturday 22nd February 2014 at 15:00. Venue: Emirates Stadium, London.

Arsenal have a chance to turn things around quickly following defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

The Gunners take on Sunderland this weekend looking to improve on a negative recent record of two defeats, one draw and just the one win from their last four matches.

It’s a game Arsene Wenger could make some changes to but he’s able to name a strong side nevertheless. Here’s the team he could go with.

GK – Wojciech Szczesny

The Pole should be very determined and focused on producing a world class 90 minutes of football after his red card against the German giants. He keeps his place.

RB – Bacary Sagna

The Frenchman is the natural choice on the right side of the defence. He needs to stay solid defensively and provide extra width when he can.

CB – Per Mertesacker

The big German should be determined to make sure that the whole team responds well to another defeat. He should be up for this game, creating a real presence in Arsenal’s back four.

CB – Laurent Koscielny

That should rub off on the Frenchman, his natural defensive partner. Koscielny has the pace to deal with Sunderland’s quicker attacking threats.

LB – Nacho Monreal

With Kieran Gibbs coming off against Bayern with a hamstring problem, Monreal should slot in on the left side of the defence.

RM – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The Ox is one of the quickest players in Arsenal’s midfield. He’ll be useful when pressing the Sunderland defence but also in terms of counter attacking if the Black Cats can build any pressure.

DM – Mathieu Flamini

Not helped by Arsenal going down to ten men last night but this is another chance for him to get back to somewhere near his best form.

CM – Jack Wilshere

Wilshere can sit in the middle, connecting the various sections of the team and pulling the strings. He can break forward and drop off regularly.

AM – Santi Cazorla

Cazorla is a superb option to have coming in behind the main striker. It’s a role where he looks very comfortable and he could win the match for the Gunners with a couple of passes.

LM – Lukas Podolski

The German didn’t get off the bench against Bayern Munich so he’ll be fresh. He can inject pace and real drive over on that left hand side.

ST – Olivier Giroud

Time for the Frenchman to come back into the team but only if he’s not going to fall apart mentally.

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