Arsenal team news: Mkhitaryan drops to bench as Welbeck starts


Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been dropped by Arsenal for their clash with Stoke City, with Danny Welbeck instead picked to start.

The Armenia international scored and laid on an assist against Watford in his last Premier League outing, but joins Alexandre Lacazette on the bench who returns from injury.

Petr Cech misses out with a groin problem meaning Matt Macey takes his place on the bench, while Laurent Koscielny, Sead Kolasinac and Granit Xhaka are among the substitutes.

Mohamed Elneny starts in defensive midfield a week after signing his new contract extension with the Gunners and sits alongside Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey.

Meanwhile, Stoke hand a start to Mame Biram Diouf following his return from injury with Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri  also starting in attack.

Arsenal XI: Ospina, Bellerin, Chambers, Mustafi, Monreal, Elneny, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Welbeck, Aubameyang

Subs: Macey, Koscielny, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette

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Stoke XI: Butland; Johnson, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters; Bauer, Badou, Allen; Ramadan, Diouf, Shaqiri.

Subs: Haugaard; Ireland, Berahino, Cameron, Crouch, Campbell, Sorense