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I have a Diaby theory, hear me out. If Abou Diaby plays as the deepest midfielder rather than his usual box to box then Arsène is grooming away in the hope that he can stay fit. The only possible available spot in our first team would be Arteta's role, right? So gradually bringing him back slowly and playing him as the defensive midfielder when Flamini and potentially Coquelin are on the pitch tells me that Arsène is planning something. If he plays box to box then maybe, just maybe Abou is playing out his final few months with us. We know how much Arsène loves a bit of Abou (and rightly so in my opinion) so I wouldn't be so sure.

We know that Arsène doesn't tend to stray too far away from his starting 11 if fit but when they've played a lot of high energy games in a short space of time he usually always rotates the squad somewhat. I full expect to see that rotation take place this afternoon. We have at least three players who could be considered as first team players who should be as fit and fresh as a fiddle. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tomas Rosicky and Santi Cazorla will be hopeful to get a rare start this season. I'd be very surprised if none of those players started today. Personally I'd take Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Özil out of the firing line. It was those two players who were sacrificed when Arsène made his first substitutions in Germany so that might be an indication as to what Arsène might do. Santi Cazorla is higher up Arsène's pecking order than Tomas Rosicky but I think the latter would be a better fit if replacing Rambo. Rosicky is very good at pressing up the pitch and we could do with that today.

Borussia Dortmund have plenty of injury problems of their own which is heartening. Mikel Arteta and Kieran Gibbs will almost certainly come back into the team which will give the side a little more freshness. Freshening up the side is something that the boss will have to carefully consider. Against Manchester City on the weekend, the players gave a lot and it may well be a lot to press in the same

 

Mikel Arteta will almost certainly come back into the team in place of the erratic Mathieu Flamini. Cazorla, Alexis, Oxlade-Chamberlain and perhaps Mesut Özil are vying for the two wide places while you would assume that Danny Welbeck will start at centre forward. Yaya Sanogo is also in contention after his three goals for the French u21s

You'd imagine that Matty Flamster will continue to replace Mikel Arteta, especially as he had a decent enough game at Goodison Park at the weekend. Jack Wilshere could replace Aaron Ramsey with Mesut Özil back in the number 10 position but I just had a streak of fear flash across me. Can you get a streak of fear? Let's run with it anyway. What if Arsène is adamant that we stick to the 4-1-4-1 and selects his team based around that? Which would mean Mesut Özil continuing in a wide role and perhaps someone like Tomas Rosicky coming in for Aaron Ramsey dropping Santi Cazorla to the bench. It will be interesting to see if the 4-1-4-1 is here

In midfield Arsène needs to find someone to replace Mikel Arteta at the base of our midfield. Mathieu Flamini and Calum Chambers are the most likely choices. If Per Mertesacker is not ready or if Koscielny is rested due to a persistent achilles problem then that choice gets removed. Mesut Özil could return to the team if ready and that could see the side switch back to a 4-2-3-1. Would Wilshere be the one to miss out? or would Arsène risk asking Ramsey and Wilshere to share that responsibility?

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more