After enjoying such a fantastic start, it has to be said that the current campaign has been bit of a disappointment for Arsenal. However, the Gunners now have the opportunity of finishing the season on a high by claiming the FA Cup title, as well as securing the fourth and final Champions League spot.
Arsenal seem to have turned a corner in recent times, following a horrendous last two months and now look odds on favourites to pip Everton to fourth spot after the Toffees’ slip up against Southampton on Saturday.
The job is far from done for the Gunners though and Arsene Wenger’s men certainly have to avoid complacency when they welcome a troubled Newcastle United to the Emirates on Monday night.
Probable Arsenal Lineup on Monday –
Wojciech Szczesny was largely a spectator in Arsenal’s win over Hull City last week and given Newcastle United’s problems in attack, the Pole may once again be in for a comfortable evening. However, one should know that Newcastle are a good team going through a bad phase and Szczesny certainly must be on his guard in order to claim another clean sheet.
Captain Thomas Vermaelen remains a doubt for the clash due to a hamstring problem while Kieran Gibbs is definitely ruled out with a knock. As a result, Nacho Monreal looks set to start at left-back while Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny will continue their formidable partnership in central defence.
Bacary Sagna’s long term future at Arsenal remains a doubt but the Frenchman should start at right back on Monday night, with young Carl Jenkinson also providing an option for Wenger.
Arsene Wenger must have been very pleased with his midfielders’ display against Hull City last week and the French manager may once again elect to go with a similar lineup.
Mikel Arteta should start in midfield alongside Aaron Ramsey, while the rejuvenated duo Lukas Podolski and Mesut Ozil will be providing the creative spark in attack for the Gunners alongside Santi Cazorla.
Mathieu Flamini is also available for selection after returning from suspension while Tomas Rosicky, Kim Kallstorm and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remain good alternatives if Wenger decides to change things around.
Abou Diaby suffered another injury setback in training and will once again be joining Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott on the sidelines.
Olivier Giroud seems to be hitting good form in recent times and the Frenchman will most likely lead the line for the Gunners, while young Yaya Sanogo will be waiting on the wings if things do not go according to plan for the Gunners.
Szczesny; Monreal, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Sagna; Podolski, Arteta, Ozil, Ramsey, Cazorla; Giroud