Arsenal will visit Hull City on Sunday, in a very important game for the Gunners, they need the win to keep the fourth position that qualifies them to the next Champions League, and also because they’ll face the same rival that some weeks later will be playing the FA Cup final with them.
In my opinion, Arsène Wenger will play with a 4-2-3-1 scheme, since it’s his favorite and he always plays the same. No banned players in Arsenal for this game, and some good news with respect to injuries relating possible comebacks.
The goalkeeper will be Wojciech Szczęsny, who is always the boss’ choice in the Premier League (Fabianski plays the FA Cup matches.)
In defense, Laurent Koscielny came back from a calf injury in the victory over West Ham last Tuesday and he’ll play from the beggining against Hull City too. The right back will be Bacary Sagna and Per Mertesacker will be Koscielny’s partner in the center back.
The uncertainty is at left back. In the match against the Hammers, Thomas Vermaelen played in that position, although his natural one is in the center. The reason for that was that both Kieran Gibbs (hamstring) and Nacho Monreal (leg) weren’t available due to injuries.
Arsène Wenger spoke in press conference about those players, as well as about midfielder Mesut Özil, who was also with a hamstring injury: “I think Gibbs will be out for the weekend. But Monreal is possibly available and Ozil could be available to travel as well. I will see about that on Friday and Saturday.” [source]
It all depends in whether Monreal is available or not, but the options seem to be him or Vermaelen. In my opinion, Wenger won’t risk Monreal, but as I said before –and following Wenger’s words– it’s all up to how the boss sees him on the days before the match.
In the midfield, the injured players are Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere (both long-term injuries), Serge Gnabry (knee) and Mesut Özil (hamstring). The only one that could play on Sunday is Özil, but in my opinion he won’t be in the lineup – he’ll at most go to the bench.
For this match, Wenger can rely on Mathieu Flamini, who didn’t play the last two matches because he was banned. In my opinion, the Frenchman will play from the beggining in the defensive midfield, accompanying Mikel Arteta.
In the offensive midfield, Tomas Rosicky came back from a thigh injury against West Ham, so I think that Wenger will rest him on Sunday. I believe that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will play on the right side, Santi Cazorla in the center and Lukas Podolski – who is having a great moment – in the left, leaving Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey in the bench (and maybe Özil too), both ready to get into the pitch if someone has an injury or a bad performance.
Finally, I think that Olivier Giroud will be the striker, since he’s in a good moment too and Wenger rarely relies on Yaya Sanogo in place of Giroud.
Szczęsny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen; Flamini, Arteta; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski; Giroud.