Arsenal confirmed line-up: Wenger makes two changes v Sunderland
By Tony Hughes
Arsene Wenger has been forced into making two changes for his side’s Premier League clash with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Walcott picked up a slight hamstring problem and misses the game, along with left-back Nacho Monreal.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain comes in for Walcott after his brace against Reading in the EFL Cup game on Tuesday progressed his side to a quarter-final with Southampton.
Kieran Gibbs started that game too and retains his place after Nacho Monreal has been ruled out with a slight thigh problem.
Olivier Giroud is fit for selection again, but only makes it to the bench as Alexis Sanchez continues his run at the front of the Arsenal attack.
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Sanchez has had a good start to the season with four goals and four asssists in nine Premier League games, but hasn’t scored in the last three. He’s joined by Alex Iwobi as the Gunners go in search of the goals that will draw them clear at the top of the table.
The Arsenal midfield reamins unchanged from last Saturday, with Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny sandwiching Mesut Ozil as Granit Xhaka is still suspended and Cazorla is still unfit.
Gibbs joins established Arsenal defenders Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Hector Bellerin, with Petr Cech between the sticks.
The Saturday lunchtime clash sees two teams at the opposite end of the Premier League table.
Arsenal fans will be expecting to get three points to continue their charge at the top of the Premier League table after a misfire last weekend when they drew 0-0 with Middlesbrough at the Emirates.
By contrast David Moyes’ Sunderland are rock bottom of the league and a loss at home here could heap more pressure on the beleaguered manager.
In other Arsenal team news, this TV pundit says that Arsenal are better when this player starts.