Arsenal expected 4-2-3-1 to face West Brom: Attacker axed in three changes
By Matt Farr
Arsene Wenger is expected to make three changes to his Arsenal side for their upcoming Premier League meeting with West Brom on Saturday.
Danny Welbeck, Mesut Ozil and Nacho Monreal are all expected to return to the starting eleven, with attacker Olivier Giroud, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs making way following the 5-0 FA Cup win over Lincoln last time out.
Welbeck has missed Arsenal’s last two matches with illness, but is back in full training ahead of the West Brom fixture, and is set to replace the injured Oxlade-Chamberlain in the attack.
Giroud, meanwhile, is likely to make way for the returning Ozil, with Alexis Sanchez promoted to leading the line in a must-win game for the away side.
Wenger named a strong back five to face minnows Lincoln on Saturday, but the upcoming clash against West Brom will be equally, if not more, important.
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Monreal is expected to return in place of Gibbs as Wenger reverts to their strongest back-line, with premier quartet Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Hector Bellerin retaining their places in the starting eleven.
The midfield partnership between Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey is also likely to continue, but fans will be demanding improved performances from the pair after their recent showings.
Arsenal will be boosted by the return of Mohamed Elneny from injury, but he is not expected to make an immediate return to the starting eleven, and could join Francis Coquelin on the bench.
Theo Walcott is set to complete the Arsenal line-up in his familiar right-wing role, following an impressive display against Lincoln.
Wenger’s side must return from their trip to the Hawthorns with nothing less than three points to stay in touch with their Premier League rivals.
Arsenal have already fallen five points behind the Premier League’s top four, and a defeat could also see Manchester United and Everton jump ahead of them in the table.
In other Arsenal team news, Paul Merson believes the Gunners must sign this La Liga superstar to lead them to the title.