4-2-3-1: An attacking Arsenal XI vs Reading

Arsene Wenger regularly gets criticised for putting out weakened sides in these sorts of games.

But, after a hugely disappointing result at the weekend where Arsenal could only draw at home to Boro, and with so much competition for silverware this season, Arsene would be well advised to go fairly strong in this one.


Because struggling Reading will have little to lose by having a proper go at the hosts and The Gunners don’t need another negative result right now. Imagine the press after a Reading win this week.

A week is a long time in football and after appearing to be the pre-eminent team in England last weekend Arsenal are in danger of slipping back into their stereotype of great pretenders.

Without Santi Cazorla Arsenal simply didn’t click and Boro may consider themselves unfortunate to leave The Emirates with just a point.

Granit Xhaka is still suspended for this one and Ramsey, Mertesacker and Welbeck are still doubtful or out.

So it will be interesting to see how much Arsene shuffles his line up for this one. Olivier Giroud may be back in contention but Perez should definitely get to stretch his legs from the off.

In general we expect to see a few tweaks up top, to rest the A-listers, and real strength on the bench for a game which can wipe away the disappointment of the weekend.

Here’s our predicted XI. Arsenal fans: discuss.