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Arsenal expected 4-2-3-1 v Sunderland: Wenger to make nine changes and big Cazorla call

By Emma Sanders

Arsene Wenger could make nine changes to the Arsenal starting XI as they return to Premier League action against Sunderland this weekend.

Alexis Sanchez, Hector Bellerin, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott are just a few of the players expected to return after being rested against Reading, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be handed a rare start in the league.

Mohamed Elneny and The Ox are the two players expected to retain their places as the Gunners have another opportunity to go top of the Premier League table with a victory against the Black Cats in Saturday’s early kick-off.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was on the score-sheet for Arsenal as he netted both of the Gunners goals to secure victory against Reading and may be rewarded with his fourth league start of the season.

His inclusion would mean Alex Iwobi is left out of the starting XI, while Santi Cazorla faces a battle to recover in time from injury and is unlikely to feature on the weekend.

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If the Spanish playmaker is unable to convince Wenger that he can start, then Francis Coquelin and Elneny are in line to start in central midfield for the second consecutive weekend.

Granit Xhaka also misses out as he serves the final game of his three match ban after being sent off in the 3-2 victory against Swansea.

Olivier Giroud played 25 minutes in Arsenal’s 2-0 EFL Cup victory against Reading during the week but is unlikely to start as he continues his recovery from injury.

Aaron Ramsey could also make a return after coming back to full training at the start of the week but he’s likely to come on as a substitute.

Arsenal’s in-form forwards, Sanchez and Walcott are likely to line-up alongside Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ozil in the front four.

Petr Cech returns to guard the Arsenal goal, as Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal are all expected to line up in defence.

In other Arsenal news, huge blow as summer signing could be out until Christmas with new injury.