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Likely Arsenal Line Up To Face Viking FK In The Scandinavian Tour

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is the only positive for Arsenal

Arsenal returned to their London training base this week after a successful preseason tour to America. However, the Gunners will again take flight as they face Viking FK on August 5th at the Viking Stadion in Stavanger. Wenger and his team come into this match on the back of a 3-1 victory against Chivas de Guadalajara. Preceding to that match, Arsenal secured a comfortable 2-1 victory against the MLS All-Star in San Jose. In the next two matches, the manager will be looking to give some game time to the players who are returning this week from their summer holiday following their participation in the European Championship and Copa America

Gunners will be without Per Mertesacker, who suffered a knee injury last week, which is expected to keep him out till the turn of the year. Players like Aaron Ramsay, Alexis Sanchez, and Mesut Ozil are expected to return to London Colney this week. Though it’s unlikely they will thrust into action straight away, a substitute appearance could be a possibility for the manager. With the Premier League start on a few days away, Arsenal will finish their preseason on 7th August when they take on Manchester City at the Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg. Here is the expected XI that Wenger might start with on 5th.

Goalkeeper: Petr Cech

Cech was rested for the last match against Guadalajara but is in line to start on 5th. When fit the former Chelsea goalkeeper is a sure shot starter. He had an excellent first season at the Emirates, finishing with the golden glove after unprecedented 16 clean sheets.

Defenders: Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Debuchy and Gibbs

With Mertesacker out injured for quite some time, Koscielny still to return for training and Paulista out sick, Wenger has very little option vis-à-vis central defenders. Holding scored in the last match and should restore his starting place alongside English international Chambers. Debuchy who lost his place in the starting XI following Bellerin’s rapid rise will be looking to impress the manager in the next two friendlies in order to prove to him that he still has value at the club. Similarly, for Gibbs, this preseason is very crucial as he looks to break into the starting XI ahead of Nacho Monreal.

Midfielders: Granit Xhaka, Coquelin, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla and Joel Campbell

With Premier League season just a few days away, Wenger will be keen to finalize his primary combination of central defensive midfielders. Xhaka has been excellent in the last two matches and should start again on Friday along with Coquelin. It was excellent to see Cazorla making a return to starting XI against Guadalajara. The Spaniard did well in the centre and is expected to continue in that number 10 role. Chamberlain would high on confidence right after scoring a brilliant goal last time out, he will likely slot in on the right wing, while Campbell will come in on the left.

Striker: Chuba Akpom

After wasting numerous opportunities to get a goal and another disappointing display, it’s time Wenger gives Walcott a rest. Chuba Akpom has already scored two goals this summer and is well deserving of a starting spot. Let’s hope that comes on the 5th.