London (AFP) – Arsenal look prepared to field Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette on Swansea on Saturday after the trio all scored against Everton last weekend.
The 5-2 win in the Premier League on Merseyside doubled as the first time that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had played the three players in the same XI.
Fitness concerns were the main reason for that in a fledgling season that saw Chile star Sanchez and Germany’s Ozil begin it without extending contracts that will expire after the end of the current campaign.
“What people questioned is their commitment to the team and the club,” Wenger said.
“I didn’t and what happened on Sunday reinforces my belief even more. What we want from them is to show that week in, week out.
“We created good chances against Everton by playing at a high pace, so the focus will be to put a high pace into the game and try to create chances and be positive again.
“Ozil, Lacazette and Alexis can create chances, they can score goals, but I believe as well that up front you depend a lot on the quality of the build-up at the back and at home the speed of our passing will be absolutely important to create chances.”
– Walcott’s ‘time will come’ –
Picking those players means leaving Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott on the bench but Wenger insisted those in possession of a starting place would have to work hard to keep it.
“They were very efficient at Everton, they have to be efficient on Saturday,” he said. “There is no definite solution, we are in a job where competition counts and if it works, they have to make it work to keep their position.”
Wenger rejected the claim from former Gunners striker Ian Wright that Walcott should seek a new club to get more game time.
“I do not want Theo to move on,” Wenger said. “His time will come in the Premier League.
“You need to look at the number of minutes they’ve played since the start of the season and that’s quite a big number of minutes, but I’ve gone into a rotation policy because we play on Thursday and Sunday most of the time.”
Swansea have just eight points on the board from nine league matches so far this season but will arrive at the Emirates Stadium having prospered more on the road than in front of their own fans.
Paul Clement, the Welsh club’s manager, insisted that the Swans’ current league position was not an issue.
“I believe I should be judged at the end of the season after 38 games,” he said.
“We are on a run where we have not picked up a massive amount of points. Last season we had a run of six games where we picked up one point, there was a lot of talk that Swansea were going to go down.
“It was said by pundits, it was said by media and it was said by ex-players. Then we went and won four out of our last five games, the other result was a draw at Manchester United.
“I have been around this game long enough to know you have got to keep level headed…If you are persistent, maintain belief and stay together collectively —- and myself and the players are positive —- the rewards will come. They will.”
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