Arsenal face Manchester City Saturday morning in a rematch of this season’s Community Shield. Arsenal won the previous meeting 3-0 with goals from Cazorla, Ramsey, and Giroud. Both teams will lineup with much changed squads since that meeting. Arsenal is likely to introduce Welbeck and all of their players who missed out due to the World Cup. Man City will field a much-changed defense compared to the makeshift lineup seen at the Community Shield.
Goalkeeper – Szczesny
Ospina has just returned from injury and there is no reason for Szczesny to lose his place, regardless of Ospina’s status.
Right Back – Debuchy
Debuchy will hopefully continue to improve on his recent performances, while he has not made any glaring mistakes, he also has done little that stands out.
Center Back – Mertesacker & Koscielny
Arsenal’s stalwarts at the back will feature, of course. Chambers has played well, but has done nothing to prove that he deserves to start either. Koscielny’s health has been questionable the past three weeks due to a kick to the Achilles. Look for this to not be a problem anymore.
Left Back – Gibbs
Gibbs is back and healthy following a hamstring injury on opening day. Monreal performed adequately in Gibbs’ absence, but when both are healthy Gibbs is the automatic starter.
Defensive Mid – Arteta
Arteta too returns from injury after picking up an ankle knock against Besiktas during the first leg of that matchup. Arsenal’s captain will resume in his role as a holding midfielder. Flamini played well during Arteta’s absence, however, Arteta’s calming presence and leadership will prove to be an asset to an Arsenal team who are still finding their feet.
Central Midfield – Wilshere
Ramsey picked up a knock while playing for Wales against Andorra. He has an outside chance of playing, but it is unlikely that Wenger will push the “Welsh Jesus”, as it is early in the season and Arsenal have a rough game against Dortmund midweek. A repeat of Ramsey’s injury last season is the last thing anyone associated with Arsenal will want to see. Wilshere will take over Ramsey’s role.
Attacking Midfield – Özil will play in his natural number 10 role. Cazorla has been playing there the past couple games, and Özil outwide left, however. Özil should be deployed in his best and natural role. That is why Arsenal bought him last season after all.
Right Wing – Alexis
Alexis will start on the right where he has been playing very well the past couple games. With Özil playing through the middle, look for Arsenal to use both Alexis’ and Welbeck’s pace.
Left Wing – Cazorla
If Wenger wants to play both Cazorla and Özil, he must sacrifice Cazorla and let the German play in his most natural position. Cazorla was effective in this position last year and is a better defender than the German. Look for Wenger to revert to this role for the Spaniard.
Striker – Welbeck
Welbeck will make his debut for Arsenal this weekend and look for him to be fired up to play. Sanogo could make a push to start over Welbeck, considering the young Englishman will have had only two training sessions with his new team and Sanogo played impressively for the France-U21 team this weekend, scoring 3 goals.