- Lukas Podolski
The dead-rubber label this game has assumed can to a great extent be attributed to Lukas Podolski. We would still have had need to scrap a vital point from Galatasaray if not for his last gasp belter at Anderlecht. Having come on for the largely ineffective Giroud at Stoke, Poldi will get a start today – his first since the League Cup defeat to Southampton in September. For most, he is dead certain to be on his way out by January and he has not made secret of his displeasure with a lack of regular opportunities. Wenger may favour Sanogo as the leading striker, and with Santi to stay central, Podli could start as the left-wing forward. He’s excelled there as against being the Number 9. He’s to show he still can.
- Tomas Rosicky
Perhaps the one player who has shown the most understanding with being forgotten, Rosicky could get a recall from the wild too to pair up with either Ramsey or Flamini. Both have had to manage the midfield alone in the long absences of Arteta and Wilshere and with the heavy breath of fixtures to come, the Czech would have to be involved at some stage. At 34, he may not be the powerful presser we’ve known him to be but he still has a lot of orchestrative mechanisms to live up to some percentage of his title: Der Mozart.
- Joel Campbell
Before he jets off in January, Campbell will still get a few run outs in the team, especially seeing none or our main strikers has proven to be invincibly reliable. It is doubtful he’ll lead the line in Galatasaray but a goal from a wide position could fuel further argument to see him drifted in to more central involvements.
- Aaron Ramsey
Stoke City remains the birthplace of Ramsey’s lowest point in his career, not thanks to the nice man that is Ryan Shawcross, but his goal there on Saturday could be the first step to marching on to match the strides of last season. No matter how well or ill he performs his primary role of building play our play and breaking up that of the opponent, Ramsey’s keen eye for goal will never be scolded out of him and if he can start scoring again as he did at the weekend, it could turn out that we realize Alexis isn’t our best player afterall. A special affection for Turkish opponents means he is the favourite to score having scored 4 times in four previous games vs teams from that part of the world.
- Wojciech Szczesny
The right game, and the right condition to get his place back into the team. Emi Martinez had no major faults in any of Stoke’s goals, although he could arguably have had more command to prevent Crouch’s tap in, but considering three goals in the first half doesn’t count good for any goalkeeper, even if you’d kept three clean sheets in the games leading up. With another tough game to come at the weekend, Wenger will be looking to have his first choice defence in full gear for Pardew’s men. This presents Szczesny with the right game with little pressure to get himself some competition under his belt as a warm up for the weekend.
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