By Emma Sanders
Arsenal should hand a start to Lucas Perez when they take on West Brom in the Boxing Day clash.
The 28-year-old has scored five goals in nine appearances for Arsenal since joining from Deportivo for £17million in the summer but he has struggled to get regular first-team action.
Perez should get the nod ahead of Alex Iwobi, who started the 2-1 defeat against Manchester City on Sunday afternoon. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is injured but could be back in contention for the game against Crystal Palace on January 1.
Perez has looked promising but needs time to adjust to the Premier League. If Wenger can get him firing to his full potential it would significantly enhance Arsenal’s attack, even ahead of the anticipated return of Danny Welbeck. It’s a risk that’s worth taking.
Theo Walcott and Alex Sanchez should also line-up in attack while Mesut Ozil retains his place in the number 10 role despite being criticised for his performance against City.
That would mean Olivier Giroud misses out but regular starters Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin should retain their roles as holding midfielders.
In defence, Shkodran Mustafi is expected to remain sidelined through injury so Gabriel should line-up at centre-back alongside Laurent Koscielny.
The defensive duo should be joined in the full-back positions by Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal.
Petr Cech is the obvious first choice goalkeeper and should line-up in between the sticks to complete the starting XI.
In other Arsenal news, these are the three things we learned from the club in 2016.