LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been forced to make a quick a quick adjustment to his starting lineup as Theo Walcott is ill and will not start against Stoke City.
Walcott was initially named in the Arsenal starting team, but a very late team change sees the England winger dropped from the team and 18-year-old Serge Gnabry comes into the starting team to make his debut, while 31. Ryo Miyaichi has been drafted into the squad to replace Walcott.
Meanwhile, Wenger has been talking about his new signing Mesut Ozil recently and the Gunners boss looks ahead of the German home debut.
“There’s a lot of expectation when you make a big signing like that, but hopefully he is used to that and I hope he doesn’t put too much responsibility on his shoulders,” he told reporters in his pre-game interview.
About the return of striker Nicklas Bendtner in the squad, Wenger said: “Bendtner has worked very hard and deserves a place on the bench today.”
Midfielder Mikel Arteta is also on the bench after recovering from a thigh injury.
“Mikel Arteta is just a little bit short but it’s good to have him back also.”
Arsenal v Stoke City
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Flamini, Ramsey, Gnabry, Ozil, Wilshere, Giroud
Subs: Vermaelen, Arteta, Viviano, Monreal, Jenkinson, Miyaichi, Bendtner
Stoke: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Pieters, Walters, Nzonzi, Adam, Wilson, Arnautovic, Jones
Subs: Whelan, Pennant, Palacios, Crouch, Etherington, Sorensen, Ireland
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)