Arsenal vs Burnley: Predicted Lineups
The coming weekend sees the gunners in FA cup action against Burnley at the Emirates Stadium. In their quest for a third consecutive FA cup title, the gunners will be up and raring to go especially after the Chelsea setback last weekend. With good news around the corner for Coquelin, Welbeck and Rosicky, Wenger will be pleased but even more pleasing is the return of Alexis Sanchez. Wenger though is cautious with his star man and plans to ease the Chilean back into action slowly
Recent signing Mohamed Elneny is due for a debut and the Emirates stadium is the perfect arena. With great expectations to be met, only time will tell if he is made of the same mould that is worthy of being champions. Playing in front of the home crowd come Saturday should be the ideal opportunity for him to calm the nerves of millions of arsenal fans who had been calling for a Defensive holding midfielder. Francis Coquelin has been fantastic and he has been terribly missed. Arsenal’s title push too looks to have also been impacted by his absence.
Arsene Wenger’s rotation policy will most likely see the return of some of the familiar FA cup faces. David Ospina should start in goal. Koscielny will most likely start on the bench. Gabriel looks set to partner Per Mertesacker with Gibbs and Chambers occupying the other two wing-back slots.
Bellerin looks to be rested for the match while Monreal will start on the bench.
Flamini is expected to start while Elneny sits out but the Egyptian looks definitely set for a debut in the second half.
Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil partner together to from the dynamic duo in midfield and will look to unlock the Burnley defense early on in the game.
Alexis Sanchez appears fit to start but could be introduced only in the second half as part of Wenger’s recovery plan though he looked ready against Chelsea where he hit the ground running. The Chilean’s form and fitness is critical if Arsenal’s challenge for the title is to shift a gear especially as they enter a tough run of games including FC Barcelona in the Champions League next month.
The front three would be rounded off by Walcott, Giroud and Campbell.
Oliver Giroud looks to be evolving this season and appears to be getting better with each game. The French Centre Forward links up well with the midfield and his hold up play creates time and space for his team mates to play around him. Campbell has performed admirably when handed the opportunity but with the return of Alexis, looks set to be pushed down the pecking order by Arsene Wenger. Walcott will look to stretch the Burnley defence with his pace and will be tough to handle. It could be curtains for Burnley if Arsenal score an early goal.
Burnley’s Sean Dyche knows the strengths of this Arsenal team very well and will aim for a replay at Turf Moor. Arsenal haven’t been the best travellers, especially with Coquelin’s absence. Arsenal’s win rate has dipped almost to half without him in the squad. This highlights the need for Mohamed Elneny to step up to the plate this Saturday and be an able deputy to Coquelin.
Here is the predicted Arsenal XI to start against Burnley.
Keeper: David Ospina
Defense: Chambers, Per, Gabriel, Gibbs
Midfield: Flamini, Ozil, Ramsey
Forwards: Campbell, Giroud, Walcott
Subs: Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Alex Iwobi, Alexis Sanchez, Mohamed Elneny, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Nacho Monreal
Arsene Wenger will be looking to have the tie wrapped up at home and therefore, a strong squad is expected but then the FA cup is a bookies nightmare and few surprises could be in store. However with the amount of quality at hand, Wenger should be mighty pleased by Saturday.