LONDON, Sporting Alert – Olivier Giroud gets the starting nod up front for Arsenal in today’s English Premier League clash with West Ham United at Emirates Stadium.
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The Frenchman starts ahead of Theo Walcott in the attack, despite the England international’s promising outing against Chelsea in the Community Shield a week ago.
It is understood manager Arsene Wenger wants a strong type of player to deal with the physical plays of West Ham and backs Giroud to hold things together up front.
Alexis Sanchez also returns, but he is only on the bench for kick-off, with Wenger stating that the Chile international wasn’t ready to play 90 minutes, following his extending season in the summer with the national team during the Copa America tournament.
Community Shield hero Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who netted the winner against Chelsea, keeps his place on the right, with Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil also starting this game.
Petr Cech, who made the short move from Chelsea to Arsenal in the summer, will make his English Premier League debut for the Gunners, with Mathieu Debuchy, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal and Francis Coquelin all in the starting lineup as well.
Slaven Bilic, the West Ham United manager, has decided to hand 16-year-old Reece Oxford his debut against Arsenal and the Hammers boss says his performance in training was the key reason for him getting a starting place today.
Dimitri Payet also starts and he is expected to be the main creator for Bilic’s side, with Mauro Zarate and Diafra Sakho heading things up in the attack.
Cheikhou Kouyate is also in the starting lineup and he will be alongside Mark Noble in the midfield, while James Tomkins, Winston Reid and Aaron Cresswell play in the backline.
Kevin Nolan, Matthew Jarvis, James Collins, Modibo Maiga and Diego Poyet are all on the bench for West Ham.
Besides Walcott and Sanchez, Arsenal also have Kieran Gibbs, Gabriel Paulista, Mikel Arteta and Calum Chambers available for selection during the game.
Arsenal v West Ham: English Premier League Lineups
Arsenal: Cech, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud. Subs: Gibbs, Gabriel, Arteta, Ospina, Walcott, Sanchez, Chambers
West Ham: Adrian, Tomkins, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Oxford, Noble, Kouyate, Payet, Zarate, Sakho. Subs: Randolph, Nolan, Jarvis, Collins, Maiga, Poyet, Lanzini
Referee: Martin Atkinson