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Predicted Arsenal Lineup To Face Chelsea In The Pre-Season Friendly
An early taste of the London Derby is coming for the football fans as Chelsea and Arsenal will clash against each other in a pre-season friendly in Beijing on Saturday.
The Gunners come into the game on the back of a penalty shoot-out victory against Bayern Munich and will be keen on carrying their impressive pre-season form against Antonio Conte’s men as well. This match will act as the prelude to the FA Community Shield contest that will take place between the two teams in August and while it might not match up in intensity levels, both teams will be looking to get a measure of each other.
Sead Kolasinac was taken off just before the half-time against Bayern due to illness and may not play a part on Saturday.
Here’s how they could take the field in Beijing:
Manager: Arsene Wenger
Emiliano Martinez (GK)
While Petr Cech started against Bayern, it was Emiliano Martinez who captured the headlines with his heroics in the penalty shootout. Should get the nod for the game.
Laurent Koscielny (CB)
The Frenchman did not get any minutes against Bayern, most likely keeping in view the Chelsea fixture. Expect him to start as one of the back three.
Per Mertesacker (CB)
Another experienced pro who did not feature on Wednesday against Die Roten, the captain could very well be handed a place in the starting XI in the place of Mohamed Elneny.
Nacho Monreal (CB)
The Spaniard has nailed down the left-sided centre-back position for himself since the business end of the last season and is likely to continue there against the Blues.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (RWB)
The 23-year old was another player who did not play any part against Bayern. But having been overtly impressive in the right wing-back position, he will be given a starting berth on Saturday.
Aaron Ramsey (CM)
The Welshman played a little under half an hour on Wednesday, but should start in the middle of the park against the London rivals.
Granit Xhaka (CM)
The last summer’s signing started the previous two friendlies against Bayern and Western Sydney Wanderers. Should retain his place in the starting XI.
Cohen Bramall (LWB)
With Kolasinac unlikely to feature, Wenger will look at young Cohen Bramall to provide width down the left-hand side. The 21-year old has had an impressive pre-season so far and will look to impress in order to break into the first-team when the season starts.
Mesut Ozil (RAM)
Another regular in all the pre-season fixtures, Mesut Ozil will once again play a part from the kick-off against the Blues.
Alex Iwobi (LAM)
The saviour of the last game against Bayern, with a last-gasp equalizer, Iwobi was impressive enough and deserves a starting spot in place of Danny Welbeck.
Alexandre Lacazette (ST)
Leading the line will be club-record arrival, Alexandre Lacazette. The Frenchman got off to a good start scoring in his debut against Sydney FC and will want to add one in the London derby too.