Saturday, 8 January 2011

Wenger has two big decisions to make for Leeds United game

Arsene Wenger has admitted he will play the "strongest and freshest" team to take on Leeds United in the FA Cup this lunchtime.

That means there will be several changes to the team which drew with Manchester City on Wednesday night.

I believe there are two positions which the manager will have to make a big decision to make. In the centre of defence and in midfield or the Cesc Fabregas role.

We know from what the manager said at his press conference yesterday that Laurent Koscielny and Jack Wilshere won't be involved at all.

So the question raised is who takes their places in the starting 11. And for me it's not just a question of directly replacing them but having a team which is fresh and ready to compete, so the players who play in the same department is also a factor I'm sure the manager will take into account.

In the deep lying central midfield roles, I'm certain Denilson will start in place of Jack Wilshere. Who plays alongside him is the bigger question. And this answer has an effect on the central defensive position. The options are Alex Song, Tomas Rosicky, Cesc Fabregas or Craig Eastmond.

I'll rule Eastmond out of the squad straight away. He was tweeting at 1am, so I'm confident he won't be playing.

I think Rosicky will play in the middle of the attacking three - the Cesc Fabregas role - which I means I feel the Fabregas will start on the bench. 

That leaves Alex Song as the likely starter in the deep lying role. He was rested for the Wigan game, so he's had a break during the Christmas and New Year period.

In defence Sebastien Squillaci will start, that is for certain. Therefore the options are Johan Djourou, Alex Song or reserve team captain Ignasi Miquel.

I think the manager will go with Djourou. As previously stated, Song will start in midfield and I cannot see Wenger throwing in a player in Miquel who has never been before involved in a first team squad for a competitive match.

So that leaves the Swiss international as the only viable option and giving it's a home match, there will be no questions from the manager about the state of the pitch which was one of the reasons why he wasn't involved at all for the Wigan game.

So I think the starting line up will be.


Eboue - Squillaci - Djourou - Gibbs

Denilson - Song

Bendtner - Rosicky - Arshavin


Subs: Fabianski, Miquel, Clichy, Ramsey, Fabregas, Walcott, Vela

I'll post the line up once it's announced. Come on you Gooners!!!

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