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Arsene Wenger has midfield solution for Chelsea clash

Arsene Wenger has midfield solution for Chelsea clash

Wenger could offer Maitland-Niles his EPL debut at Chelsea

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is set to play one of Ainsley Maitland-Niles or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in a central role when the Gunners visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The Gunners are currently in a midfield crisis with Aaron Ramsey having joined Santi Cazorla in the treatment room whilst Granit Xhaka is still serving his four-match domestic ban.

Mohamed Elneny would have been the ideal choice to accompany Francis Coquelin in midfield, but unfortunately, he is unavailable with Egypt having progressed to the finals of AFCON.

Prior to Arsenal's London derby versus Chelsea, Wenger was questioned on who could play alongside Coquelin, and for this, he said (via The Mail):

"Ainsley Maitland-Niles has played a lot on the flanks but I've seen qualities in him that tell me he can be useful in the middle and he can also be a defensive specialist.

"I like him very much and I think his game is very positive. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain impressed me in the middle too. He's a player who can be effective on the flanks and when he's in a more central role."

Maitland-Niles and Oxlade-Chamberlain paired up together in midfield during Arsenal's 5-0 FA Cup thumping of an inexperienced Southampton, but the game over the weekend will be a tough challenge for either player.