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Arsenal v Reading Possible Starting XI Preview

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So the big news came out yesterday, Diaby is out for nine months with anterior cruciate ligament damage in his left knee. Yet even with his horrendous injury record, I still find myself shocked by this news; not really in disbelief but by the possible effect that this could have on his football career. I’m talking retirement. It’s a very real possibility. The man himself even admitted that he’d contemplated it on several occasions. This latest injury could be the one that convinces him to actually do it. I think it’s a great shame, a clearly talented midfielder who has enormous potential but also has glass knees and ankles made from paper mache.

Anyway on to today’s game, and the injury news doesn’t get a lot better with Jack and Theo still sidelined. However we should see Lucas Podolski return alongside Bacary Sagna who have recovered from ankle and knee injuries respectively. With options limited I think Podolski will be forced into a start on the left wing with Chamberlain moving to the right.

Cazorla, Arteta and Ramsey are likely to start in centre midfield. Although Rosicky’s recent performances have been lively, I think recent reports linking him with moves to Germany suggest he may not be in favour. Keiran Gibbs is due to be assessed after a recent virus, but I think Monreal has settled in brilliantly and there is little point in rushing the full back into action.

Another contentious point is the possible return of Szczesny and Vermaelen, both left out of the last 2 games and the later is talking to the media about being ready for the first team again. “I’m fighting to win my place back, and nothing will change my mentality or the way I work – I will give everything every day, as I have throughout my career.” – Vermaelen via Arsenal.com

A simple decision for me and hopefully Arsene, Koscieleny should start. He has been magnificent recently and seems to have a better understanding with Metesacker. Same goes with Fabianski who has not put a foot wrong and fully deserves to regain his place in the starting XI.

Reading have been pretty poor this year but did provide tough opposition for Man Utd who could only put 1 past them before the international  break (which seems like months ago). That performance, combined with the new manager effect and Reading could make a tricky game. Anyway, lets all enjoy some proper football after all that international nonsense.

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