Arsenal beat Everton on Sunday to climb up to third place above Manchester United, and a trip to QPR represents an opportunity for the Gunners to strengthen their grip on the Champions League places. Arsene Wenger has Aaron Ramsey coming back from injury to provide another option in midfield, but the likes of Mathieu Debuchy and Mikel Arteta remain in the treatment rooms.
Arsenal suffered a shock home defeat to AS Monaco last week and with qualification chances to the quarters looking slim, the Premier League remains the priority. Nothing but maximum points from Loftus Road should suffice as the North London club look to fend off Manchester United and the chasing pack to the 3rd place.
Let’s put ourselves in Arsene Wenger’s boots and pick his starting lineup for the trip across London.
Goalkeeper – David Ospina
The Colombian has capitalized on his opportunity to secure a regular place in the Arsenal lineup. Wojciech Szczesny must be blaming his smoking habit, as it opened the doors for the summer signing to get his long overdue call-up.
Defence – Bellerin, Koscielny, Gabriel, Gibbs.
January signing Gabriel Paulista looked impressive in his first Premier League start for the Gunners after Per Mertesacker was dropped following the 3-1 thrashing by Monaco. Hector Bellerin has been nice and tidy at right back, while Kieran Gibbs offers an attacking outlet down the left flank. The dependable Laurent Koscielny should take his place at the heart of the Arsenal defence.
Midfield – Coquelin, Cazorla, Sanchez, Özil, Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Francis Coquelin was forced off with a facial injury late on against Everton, but should make the trip to Loftus Road. Aaron Ramsey could come in for Santi Cazorla should Arsene Wenger decide to freshen things up in midfield, but it is likely that the Spaniard will continue in attack given his impressive form lately. The attacking midfield threesome of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Özil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can prove to be devastating against a leaky QPR defence.
Striker – Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud eased some of the pressure on himself with a goal on Sunday, and while Danny Welbeck remains an option, the Frenchman is likely to keep his place in the lineup. And with some serious talent behind him against a shaky back line, Giroud could be a busy man on Wednesday.