Newcastle Preview: Which Defensive Pairing?

After a below standard start to the season we head up to Newcastle, who have also not had the best of starts to the league. After this we head into the dreaded international period, where we seem to always pickup more injuries. Speaking of injuries, there is a rumour that Mesut Ozil, who has been one of our best players so far this season, is out for 6 weeks with an injury picked up in training. Whether this is true or not I do not know.

Team news ahead of today’s early kick off is that Per Mertesacker is still missing from the squad through illness but there is a chance Koscielny may make it. Do we risk playing Koscielny and Gabriel or do we continue with Chambers and Gabriel? I thought despite a shaky start in the first half against Liverpool the former Southampton player improved in the second half. Gabriel is just a warrior though and I have no worries about seeing his name on the team sheet.

Other than that I can’t see Wenger making many other changes. The one change everyone wants to see is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain get a start out wide instead of Ramsey. The dilemma this causes thought is that one of Ramsey or Cazorla has to be sacrificed, unless Ozil really is injured. Arsene Wenger loves to the trio of Cazorla, Coquelin and Ramsey behind the front 3.

A lot of hate is also coming Giroud’s way after a few ‘head in hands’ moments against Liverpool. I know we all want a shiny new world class striker but it is easier said than done. If we don’t do anything in the final days of the transfer window then we have to back the squad we have rather than turn against it, because frankly there is nothing else we or the club can do. We still have Welbeck to return to the squad who could bring a new dimension up front, he did well centrally last season whilst Giroud was out.

We need to start this game with intent, aggression and take control. If we can score early on and settle our nerves we can then force Newcastle to attack us and we create space in behind for Alexis to run into. Let’s get those 3 points today lads, hopefully sign 1 or 2 players we need then get through the international break unscathed.

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