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Who Starts For Arsenal Against MLS All Stars Amidst Injury Worries?

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Arsene Wenger

Arsenal will continue their preseason preparations in America where they will take on AT&T MLS All-Stars on Thursday at Avaya Stadium in San Jose. Arsene Wenger will be keen to see how his stars perform against the best-assembled players in the MLS. Arsenal could only manage a 1-1 draw in their first preseason game against RC Lens. Last year, MLS All-Stars beat Arsenal’s North London rivals Tottenham 2-1, therefore, Wenger will do well not to take them lightly. The fans were left frustrated for one more year after the Gunners finished runner-ups behind winners Leicester City. The tension was in the air from the beginning following Wenger’s failure to sign an outfield player last summer, the only manager in the top five leagues across Europe to do so.

Arsene Wenger will be without the likes of Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Laurent Koscielny and Aaron Ramsey, all of whom are enjoying an extended break following their summer commitments at the European Championship and Copa America. However, he has enough first team players in the travelling squad to pick a strong starting XI for the game on 28th. Here is our predicted starting XI that Wenger might opt for against the All Stars.

Goalkeeper: Emiliano Martinez

With Petr Cech and David Ospina just returning for preseason training, Martinez should continue in goal for the match against MLS All-Stars. There are doubts regarding the Argentine’s future at the Emirates this summer, therefore his performance in these friendlies becomes even more important.

Defenders: Calum Chambers, Kieran Gibbs, Debuchy and Rob Holding

Arsenal team were in for some bad news this week, as it became clear that Mertesacker had suffered a knee injury, which is going to keep him out for at least 4-5 months. This latest development has made the signing of a centre back even more important now. With Paulista also staying back in England with a minor illness. We might see new signing Holding and Chambers partnering up in the middle. The former Bolton players came with much hype surrounding him and this will be a perfect chance for him showcase his abilities in front of the coach. Debuchy will slot in at right-back, while Gibbs will be the man the opposite wing.

Midfielders: Mohamed Elneny, Francis Coquelin, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Campbell and Alex Iwobi

The competition is thickest in the central midfield region, therefore everyone will be itching to perform in the opportunities they get in these friendlies to cement their place in the starting XI for next month. Elneny’s Performances following his January arrival from FC Basel grew better with each week last season and he should continue in central midfield alongside Coquelin, however, it can also be Cazorla if the boss wants to be a little adventurous. With Ozil missing from the squad, Iwobi could take up the creative role behind the striker.              Ox scored a beautiful goal against Lens last week, which might prompt the manager to give him an extended opportunity in the starting XI for this one, with Costa Rican Campbell on the right wing.

Striker: Theo Walcott

Although Akpom started the game against Lens, the youngster didn’t do much worth writing about. Therefore Wenger might be tempted to give Walcott another opportunity, in a position which the England international has called his own time and time again.