3-4-2-1: Arsenal Predicted XI to Face Chelsea
Arsène Wenger takes charge of his ninth FA Community Shield match on Sunday having won six of his previous eight.
The FA Cup holders take on rivals and defending Premier League champions Chelsea who have had a few issues pre-season.
Despite signing a new two-year contract after beating Chelsea in last season’s FA Cup final, Wenger has been a lot quieter than many expected so far in the summer transfer window. The French manager has only brought in striker Alexandre Lacazette and defender Sead Kolašinac so far – both whom I think we’ll see at Wembley.
Here is the Arsenal team I think we’ll see taking on Chelsea this weekend:
Goalkeeper: Petr Čech
The experienced Czech Republic goalkeeper is set to remain Arsenal’s number one once again this summer. Wojciech Szczęsny has left for Juventus and although David Ospina still remains at the club, and has been a cup goalkeeper under Wenger, we think it’ll be Petr Čech who gets the nod in goal.
Defence: Rob Holding, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal
Arsène Wenger switched to a back three at the very end of last season which saw some success, including the upset FA Cup final victory. He will be without the injured Gabriel Paulista and Shkodran Mustafi is a doubt after returning back from his summer break late after being granted an extended absence due to his participation in the FIFA Confederations Cup. Rob Holding played on the right of the back three and Nacho Monreal on the left in the FA Cup final last May so I think we’ll see these two retain their places with Laurent Koscielny replacing Per Mertesacker in the middle. Sead Kolašinac is an option on the left.
Midfield: Héctor Bellerín, Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looked impression in the right wingback role late last season but I think we’ll see the England international start on the left as he did in the FA Cup final. Sead Kolašinac is another option available on the left, though, whilst Héctor Bellerín should be picked no the right to go up against Marcos Alonso. Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka were the central midfield partnership the last time Arsenal played Chelsea and I think we’ll see that combination again, especially with Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla all sidelined.
Attack: Mesut Özil, Alex Iwobi; Alexandre Lacazette
With Alexis Sánchez not expected to start and a number of central midfielders unavailable, Alex Iwobi could be partnered with Mesut Özil behind the striker. Danny Welbeck could offer the Nigerian international some competition for this starting role whilst Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also capable of slotting in a central attacking midfield role. Alexandre Lacazette is widely-expected to make his debut from the start with his pace to test the likes of David Luiz and Gary Cahill. The French international faces competition from the likes of Olivier Giroud and Welbeck to be handed his debut at the first chance.
Here’s the Arsenal team on paper: