The thing about playing at home is that there is a massive expectation for us to get a really good result, especially as the opposition has definitely performed under-par so far this season. The reverse fixture saw Ozil and Welbeck combining to destroy Villa. Welbeck’s movement provided the perfect foil for Ozil’s probing through balls and dribbles.


With that in mind, it’s a damn shame that this Sunday comes a bit too early for the returning Welbeck, so it will be Giroud up top. Alexis faces a late fitness test and given the circumstances, I would prefer to see him benched, or rested complelely, rather than being risked unnecessarily, despite how much he might be annoyed with the decision of the manager. I always say it should be up to the player, they know if it hurts or not and whether they can compete, but we always know that if he played and injured himself further, the criticism of the manager would be horiffic.

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