COMMENT By Tony Hughes
Arsene Wenger has revealed that Petr Cech will be recalled to the Arsenal starting XI for Saturday’s trip to in-form Hull.
But the manager said there will be few other alterations to the team that secured a creditable 1-1 draw against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, Wenger should rotate some of his players even though the next midweek assignment is a relatively low-key EFL Cup clash against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday, when the fringe players and youngsters will no doubt be thrust into the spotlight.
Wenger has rotated his central midfielders this season and could once again make changes in that area by breaking up his favoured partnership of Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin.
The duo have started the last two Arsenal matches and should be rested at Humberside in favour of Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny, who were both brought off the bench late on against PSG.
Elneny has not started for the Gunners since the opening-day 4-3 defeat to Liverpool but his energy and power could combine well with Xhaka’s positional savvy and super-smooth passing.
Theo Walcott should also be recalled to the starting XI after missing out against the French champions.
Walcott was sidelined in Paris due to a minor injury that Wenger insisted was not serious and the manager revealed on Friday that the winger is likely to come into the reckoning for a fifth consecutive Premier League start.
That would mean one of the two Alex’s missing out and the nod should be given to Iwobi, who is able to offer a more consistent threat from out wide than the frustratingly inconsistent Oxlade-Chamberlain.
With Olivier Giroud a doubt with a toe injury and Lucas Perez, the other authentic Arsenal spearhead, not fully up to speed in his new surroundings, Wenger should once again thrust Alexis Sanchez into the central striker role.
The Chilean has led the front line in four of the team’s five matches this season and his mobility, touch and inventiveness could mean Wenger sticks with him for a clash in which slick counter-attacks are likely to be key to Arsenal’s chances of a win.
New signing Shkodran Mustafi should once against partner Laurent Koscielny at the heart of the Arsenal defence despite the German’s poor display against PSG.
In other Arsenal team news, Wenger is ready to let this young star out on loan to get more first-team football.