Arsene Wenger has pulled something of a surprise in his team to face Liverpool on Saturday evening.
With Mesut Ozil already absent through illness, Wenger delivered a shock by dropping Alexis Sanchez, the side’s other star player, to the bench for the match at Anfield.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) March 4, 2017
No fitness issue with Alexis Sanchez. He’s been dropped. #afc
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) March 4, 2017
Olivier Giroud is instead preferred to lead the line to lead the line for the visitors, with Danny Welbeck starting on the wing in what is only the England international’s second start since last May.
Arsenal fans have reacted to the surprise change in personnel with stoic good grace and complete faith that the team selected by Wenger will be enough to secure Arsenal’s first league win at Anfield since 2012.
No they’re not, they’re obviously losing their minds…
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) March 4, 2017
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) March 4, 2017
@Arsenal Haha. Good joke. Now tweet the real line up.
— GoonerGordo (@GoonerGordo) March 4, 2017
Arsene Wenger providing a glimpse of Arsenal future, by picking a side with no Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez.
— Football365 (@F365) March 4, 2017
— TheArseneView (@TheArseneView) March 4, 2017
@Arsenal WTF ALEXIS ON THE BENCH
— Amish (@AmishBulsara) March 4, 2017
Iwobi number 10 ❌
Perez on the bench ❌
Alexis on the bench ❌
Monreal starting against Mane ❌
Coquelin starting ❌
Wenger has truly lost it.
— TikiTakaConnor (@TikiTakaConnor) March 4, 2017
Alexis is being rested for Lincoln.
— Paddy (@VieiraPaddy) March 4, 2017
Giroud has successfully benched Alexis Sanchez. What a day.
— Olly (@Giroudesquee) March 4, 2017
— LH44 (@mustttyyyyy) March 4, 2017
Resting him for Bayern (?) or doing a George Graham ‘teach him a lesson’ cos he’s been talking to other clubs. #alexissanchez
— Programmeaneeanbook® (@gjpw71) March 4, 2017
— bramwel tsuma (@bramhenry) March 4, 2017
— Axel Fiennes (@FiennesAxel) March 4, 2017
Ozil-less and Sanchez-less Arsenal look to take advantage of Liverpool’s recent slump in form, and a win would take them level on points on second-placed Tottenham. Defeat, however, will see them drop out of the top four behind Jurgen Klopp’s side.