ARSENAL have next to nothing left to play for in the Premier League this season.
And with the FA Cup final against Chelsea on August 1 looming, Mikel Arteta has some big selection dilemmas on his hands for Sunday’s game against Watford.
The Hornets travel to the Emirates needing to better Aston Villa’s result at West Ham to avoid relegation.
Arsenal, having already lost Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers to injury, will also be without Shkodran Mustafi.
The German will miss the rest of the season with a hamstring injury he picked up in the Cup semi-final victory over Manchester City on Saturday.
Arteta delivered a scathing assessment of Arsenal’s season ahead of the Watford game saying “the table doesn’t lie”.
The Spaniard said: “Obviously after everything that happened, if we are able to win the FA Cup final and qualify for Europe, we can say that it’s OK.
“But it’s not the level for this football club.”
But despite Arteta’s focus on Cup glory, he wants to “respect” the relegation battle.
Asked if he would rest all of his big stars, he added: “No, I am going to assess the squad, how they’re feeling, how everyone has recovered and ideally I want to play as strong a team as I can.
“We have to respect that there are a few teams in a relegation battle and we are responsible for that as well.”
Having lost 1-0 at Aston Villa last time out in the league, Arteta will want to avoid another embarrassment against a relegation candidate so will likely field a strong side.
But with the FA Cup in mind, the Spaniard could rest Cedric and replace him with Hector Bellerin at right-wing back.
Sokratis could be handed a rare start to give veteran defender David Luiz a break.
While star man Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang could drop to the bench in place of Eddie Nketiah to ensure he is fresh and firing for next Saturday.
Dani Ceballos could also rotate with Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira at the base of the midfield ahead of the final which could be the Spaniard’s last game for Arsenal before he returns to Real Madrid.