Quick one today as I am in desperate need of sleep before whisking my son off to play football before getting back to watch the Arsenal.
I was expecting massive amounts of rotation for this game given just how difficult a run of games we have coming up. Not only that but much of the same 14 or so players have been heavily relied upon to get us through the traditional busy festive period. But Arsène Wenger in the pre match conference was not speaking like a man ready to make 11 changes to the first team.
Mesut Özil has not been spotted in any of the training pictures and also Arsène had implied that our genius number 11 may well be given the afternoon off, rightly so as you could tell that he had dropped physically in the Newcastle United match.
I expect to see our experienced back up players such as Kieran Gibbs and Gabriel. Mikel Arteta has come through a reserve game in midweek and could well be thrown back into the starting 11. If Rambo starts in Özil's position then it will be nice to see Arteta and Ramsey reunite once more.
Mean Lean's Predicted Line Up:
I would love to see more of Jeff Reine-Adelaide but I might have to be patient. Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joel Campbell have enough in the tank to play this one, we may well have to wait until about 20 minutes or so to go before he shows off his dancing feet. It's a big day for the likes of Jeff and Iwobi, they will be itching to get onto the pitch, whether that be from the start or from bench. In fact it is quite a big day for all our wide forwards. The Ox needs confidence and he needs it fast. Joel Campbell also has a chance to reestablish himself back into the first team before Alexis returns.
Apologies for the extremely short piece today but I am struggling to keep my eyes open. Hopefully we can win, play well and watch Sam Allardyce red faced, chewing gum and screaming at his team for conceding a number of first half goals.
Anyway back after the game for the post match Q&A, review and so on. The podcast will be with you over the next few days.