By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Petr Cech could be among eight Arsenal stars given a breather as Arsene Wenger rings the changes for Saturday’s FA Cup clash against Hull.
With pivotal fixtures against Barcelona and Manchester United next week, Wenger is set to name a much-changed team for the fifth-round match at Emirates Stadium.
The manager has already said Petr Cech will be rested, and an Arsenal source has told Football Insider that the goalkeeper could be joined on the sidelines by fellow big guns Ozil and Sanchez as well as the likes of Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey, Francis Coquelin, Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny.
January signing Mohamed Elneny is is set to make only his second start for the club as he is gradually acclimatised to the English game, while there will also be run-outs for David Ospina in goal and Danny Welbeck in attack.
Speaking at his media briefing on Friday morning, the Arsenal manager hinted that Cech will not be in the matchday squad at all.
“Ospina plays in the FA Cup. Cech potentially won’t be involved tomorrow,” Wenger said. “Elneny has a good chance to play tomorrow. He is ready and is fighting for a regular place.”
Coquelin, who started his first Premier League match in three months in the 2-1 in over Leicester last weekend, could make way for Mathieu Flamini.
In the attacking midfield positions, Wenger will consider handing starts to Theo Walcott, Joel Campbell and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Welbeck could be named in the starting X1 for the first time in nearly a year.
Arsenal (possible): Ospina; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Chambers, Gibbs; Flamini, Elneny; Campbell, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott; Welbeck.