In Arsenal’s second match of the Premier League season, they will square up against Everton at Goodison Park in Liverpool on Saturday. After a late winner from Aaron Ramsey at the Emirates against Crystal Palace in the opener, Arsenal are looking to go two for two to start the season. With the Germans finally making their long awaited return, we will get to see Mesut Oezil and Alexis Sanchez on the pitch for the first time together– a pair that are expected to win Arsenal some serious silverware in the future. Here’s how the rest of the team will line up:
Left Back – Nacho Monreal
With Kieran Gibbs still out with a hamstring problem, Nacho Monreal will again be thrust into the starting 11 for Arsenal against Everton. Monreal fared well at left back last week though, as his only other recent playing time has been at centre back. Monreal is a pretty adequate replacement for Gibbs, and Arsenal fans shouldn’t need worry.
Centre Backs- Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker
The return of the Germans is upon us. Per Mertesacker is back and fit, and looking to give youngster Calum Chambers a well deserved rest. Laurent Koscielny appears to be alright after an Achilles scare last week, and will also most likely be given the start alongside his mate Per Mertesacker. These two will work to begin to reform the tandem that Arsenal grew to love last year, starting this weekend.
Right Back- Mathieu Debuchy
Debuchy seems to still be getting acclimated to playing in an Arsenal shirt, and hopefully will regain his last year’s form here shortly. While he hasn’t been bad by any means, Debuchy will need to work on his positioning a little, especially with the absence of Mikel Arteta, as he was caught high on the pitch on some counter attacks the last two outings. With all that being said, Debuchy has the chance and ability to be a star right back for Arsenal, and I believe will get settled down soon.
Center Midfield – Mathieu Flamini, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey
Mathieu Flamini will most certainly be given the start with the injury to Mikel Arteta looming for the next few games. He is not the best with the ball moving forward, but Flamini does have the knack to be in the right place at the right time, and is not scared to make an important tackle.
Aaron Ramsey- Following a rare sending off, the Welshman should definitely be getting the start against Everton, as he will miss the next game against Besiktas. Though his last outing wasn’t his best, Ramsey is one of the brightest stars Arsenal have, and will be looking to have a good game linking up with recently returned Mesut Oezil.
Jack Wilshere – Wilshere had a good game in Turkey on Tuesday, and I believe will be given the start here over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Wilshere seemed well in form against Besiktas, as his ability to beat players on the first touch was impressive. Jack was one of the few bright spots for Arsenal in their Champions League debut, and will be rewarded with the start in Liverpool this weekend.
Left Wing – Mesut Oezil
As mentioned earlier, I think the Ox could see the start here, while Oezil could slide inside for Wilshere, but having the German star back on the pitch in any position is a great thing to see. Having Oezil back will hopefully provide the creativity moving forward, as Cazorla struggled providing any spark against Besiktas. Oezil is looking to have a good first outing since his triumphant World Cup victory, and will also have the chance to play with newly acquired Chilean star Alexis Sanchez. The German star is known for his fitness, so even on short notice should see the start against Everton.
Right Wing – Alexis Sanchez
With Theo Walcott still nursing a knee injury, Alexis will again start in his place this weekend. The little Chilean was very impressive in Turkey, and will be looking to bring the same success to the Premier League. His pace and engine last game was just what Arsenal need, as he tracked back many times to provide aid to Mathieu Debuchy and others, while also pressing forward in the attack. Sanchez provided a few good chances, one in particular to Giroud, who couldn’t quite wrap his boot around the finish.
Forward – Oliver Giroud
As Yaya Sanogo is still not fully healthy, Giroud will be given the start regardless of possibly having his worst showing in an Arsenal jersey on Tuesday. While Joel Campbell still has yet to have his chance, although Wenger insists it is coming, Giroud is likely the man to control the front lines for Arsenal this weekend.
Giroud is always battered in his bad performances, and not given enough credit in his good ones. Even though it is apparent that he needs help up top for Arsenal, he did score an absolute cracker this season already and did have a decent goal tally of 22 last year. Giroud might not be Robin Van Persie yet and has some games that make you hate him, but Arsenal fans need to give him time, as he shows some real promise in difficult situations. At 27 years old Giroud will be expected to put his bad performance behind him, and have a career year for Arsenal.