Date: 7th January 2016 at 2:33pm
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Arsene WengerArsenal start their FA Cup defence against Sunderland on Saturday afternoon at the Emirates.

The Gunners will undoubtedly be favourites to win the Third Round tie going into the game in such fine form, while the FA Cup for Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce will almost certainly be an unwelcomed distraction as they face a battle to remain in the Premier League this season.

Arsenal’s previous outing saw them scrape a 1-0 win against Newcastle at the Emirates, a game, which in truth, should have ended in a defeat. While Sunderland beat fellow relegation strugglers Aston Villa 3-1 at the Stadium of Light.

Arsene Wenger has no new injury concerns to deal with, but could welcome back Mikel Arteta, who played 45 minutes with the Under-21 lately, and Alexis Sanchez, who hasn’t played since the 1-1 draw against Norwich back in November last year,

So with this in mind, a crucial Premier League clash away to Liverpool on Wednesday night, and of course the chance to make further FA Cup history, how should Arsenal line-up against Sunderland this weekend?


Debuchy         Mertesacker         Gabriel         Gibbs

Chambers         Flamini

Chamberlain         Ramsey         Campbell


We might well see David Ospina in goal, if Wenger feels sorry for him. But I would just stick with Petr Cech.

Mathieu Debuchy in for Hector Bellerin, Kieran Gibbs for Nacho Monreal and Gabriel for Laurent Koscielny. We will need these three for the Liverpool game a few days later.

I was really impressed with Callum Chambers when he played in the centre of midfield against Bournemouth and this is another chance to see what he is capable alongside the expereinced Mathieu Flamini.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hasn’t been at the races this season, so this is another opportunity for the England winger, while Joel Campbell should feature as well.

Although he has been in scintillating form, Mesut Ozil needs a rest, and the German midfielder can’t afford to be risked with Liverpool around the corner. So I would replace Ozil with Aaron Ramsey. The Welshman loves to attack and create anyway, so it would be a perfect swap.

Either Olivier Giroud or Theo Walcott leading the line, but I think the latter should start. If nothing happens, then bring on the big Frenchman.