This will probably be said when Arsenal take on Manchester United a fortnight from now, but tomorrow’s game against table-toppers Leicester City at the Emirates is arguably the Gunners’ most important game to date, if they are to be considered serious title contenders for the remainder of the season.
Arsene Wenger’s men currently sit third in the Premier League table, five points adrift of Claudio Ranieri’s team, who last weekend beat Manchester City 3-1 in their own backyard.
A win is a must for Arsenal tomorrow afternoon if they are to keep in touching distance of the Foxes. A draw wouldn’t suffice, especially with the remaining games we will have left after this one against Leicester.
Leicester have only suffered two defeats this season, one of which was against Arsenal in a thrilling 5-2 loss back in September last year. Although Ranieri’s side can afford another loss to the Gunners, the Foxes will go out once again and play with no pressure, unlike Wenger’s men.
There are no new injuries to report on the Arsenal front, leaving the following unavailable – Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck.
Here is how I would like to see the team line-up:
Bellerin Gabriel Koscielny Monreal
Chamberlain Ozil Sanchez
I would stick with the same back five that won against Bournemouth last Sunday, leaving Per Mertesacker on the bench. If the German centre-back starts tomorrow, then his lack of pace will be an issue against the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.
Francis Coqulein has been embedded in slowly since his return from injury, but enough time has passed for him to now start the game, if so then he should replace Mathieu Flamini and play alongside Aaron Ramsey in midfield.
Alexis Sanchez on the left with Mesut Ozil behind Olivier Giroud, and I think Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should start ahead of Theo Walcott for this one. The Ox had a decent game against Bournemouth and needs to be given a proper run in the side to showcase his ability. I also believe he would offer more defensive cover to Hector Bellerin than Theo would.