The French coach is preparing significant squad rotation for the first time this season in a Premier League match, with the busy festive period in mind
By Wayne Veysey
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is considering resting Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs against Hull City on Wednesday night, Goal understands.
The French coach is planning significant squad rotation for the first time this season in a Premier League match ahead of a glut of December fixtures. Key trio Ozil, Wilshere and Gibbs have been pinpointed as most in need of a rest as the Gunners balance the need to keep their best players fresh with maintaining their excellent start to the campaign.
Theo Walcott will make his first start since September 18 after being a substitute for the last two matches, while Nacho Monreal is primed for a rare start in place of Gibbs. Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini are expected to be in contention after being on the bench against Cardiff City on Saturday.
Wenger will make a late decision on Bacary Sagna, who is struggling with a hamstring injury sustained against Cardiff, and Carl Jenkinson has been placed on standby.
Goal understands that Sagna would have come off at half-time on Saturday had Jenkinson been available but the right-back had not been named in the 18-man matchday squad.
Arsenal were also preparing to rest Per Mertesacker but want to avoid a major re-jig of the defence due to the likely absence of Sagna, who is expected to return against Everton.
The Gunners host Hull on Wednesday ahead of a testing six-day period in which they play the Toffees at home before trips to Napoli and Manchester City.
Ozil has started all 15 of Arsenal's Premier League and Champions League matches since his deadline-day transfer from Real Madrid, while Gibbs has started all 13 of the league games and featured in six of the seven European fixtures.
Wilshere has been less frequently used than the duo but Arsenal are wary of over-playing him due to his long-standing ankle problems.