- Emiliano Martinez
In the absences of Wojciech Szczezny, due to suspension, and David Ospina, injured, 22-year old rookie Emi Martinez gets his opportunity in the first team to mount a strong challenge on the ownership of the first gloves. He’ll do well to remember that Szczezny was third choice when he got his recognition in the team in the slumping periods of Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianksi. 22 is not too young an age to come into the game anyway, Thibaut Courtois, et cetera.
- Per Mertesacker
The vice captain was the villain of our drowsy start to the second half against Hull and though his long legs played a good role in winning the ball back while we were in desperate search for the equalizer, Mertesacker will get a chance to put in a solid convincing performance on Wednesday to dispel the mishaps of the weekend. Perhaps he’s the one suffering more from the absence of a strong defensive alternative on the bench, as there’s been the absence of a competitor to push him to the limits of improvement. A waned Vermaelen was good enough to stir that last season, now we don’t have no one. Still, he cannot afford to be complacent as an accumulation of bad outings could see him ousted when Koscielny returns.
- Calum Chambers
The youngster’s temperament will be under scrutiny when he makes his return from suspension over the weekend. He’s earned A – ratings as a very good defender and he’ll be back on Wednesday in the position he prefers. With Mertesacker, or defence will have a more natural feel to it than we saw against Hull, though Monreal did fairly well.
- Aaron Ramsey
Ramsey’s return must be good news to Wenger with the continuous plundering of our squad by injuries. His few minutes at Hull were an exposition to us of our how we’ve missed his energy and vivacity, and in Ozil’s absence, Ramsey may be handed the Number 10 role even if it’s believed he’s more suited as a box-to-box man. His last goal was against Everton and he may want to get back on the score sheet to show that last season wasn’t a one-off.
- Lukas Podolski
He’s made some interesting moves to dispel rumours about his departure from the Emirates this season (I enjoyed the comm. With Santi) but he’s yet to impress us as much on the pitch. Squad management will certainly be on Wenger’s mind more often within these periods and so we may expect some mild rotations in games against considerably less rated opponents. Not that Anderlecht is that small a team, but it will be on the likes of Podolski to show that he has not become that weak a player. There will not be many chances for the German to play between now and January when it looks likely that he will leave and as such, he will do well to take every chance he gets more seriously – at least better than the apparent indifference at home to Southampton.
6. Joel Campbell.
Frankly speaking, the Costa Rican 22-year-old brought along with him a different feel to the game upon his second half cameo in the Hull game last weekend. And it cant be denied that within the short time he had on the pitch he’s moves and passes where by far more accurate than some of the players already on the pitch before him. Although it can be argued that his fresh legs into the game could have contributed to it. The only way to find out is to give the young lad more game time. And sincerely speaking, he is overdue it already.
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