Arsene Wenger has recalled Tomas Rosicky for his first Premier League start of the season in place of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after the midfielder was ruled out of the clash with Queens Park Rangers through injury.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was the only Arsenal player who had started every league game for the Gunners this season, but a knock picked up in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool means he misses the Boxing Day encounter. Calum Chambers is dropped to the bench so Mathieu Debuchy returns to right-back with Nacho Monreal partnering Per Mertesacker at centre-back.
There is also a return for David Ospina as the Colombian goalkeeper is named on the bench.
Arsenal's injury list
Arsenal's injury list
1/5 Mikel Arteta (midfield)
Like Diaby, the Spaniard is closing in on a return but the Swansea match will come to soon. The club captain last played in November.
2/5 Mathieu Debuchy (defender)
Returned in the FA Cup semi-final win over Reading but has since been ruled out with injury and Wenger confirmed he remains 'unavailable'.
3/5 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (midfield)
Suffered a hamstring injury against Manchester United in the FA Cup and hasn't played since as it has exacerbated a groin problem. Out at least until May and facing surgery in the summer.
4/5 Aaron Ramsey (midfield)
Aaron Ramsey caught a kick on his calf during the win over Hull and was later substituted. The Welshman was rated 50/50 for the Swansea match by Wenger, but it now appears that he is a major doubt for the clash at the Emirates.
5/5 Danny Welbeck (forward)
Danny Welbeck has not played since the goalless draw with Chelsea towards the end of April after suffering a knee injury. Wenger has confirmed that the injury is 'nothing major', and that he should return to full fitness before the end of the season.
QPR manager Harry Redknapp makes five changes from the side that fought back to beat Wets Brom 3-2 last weekend. Hat-trick hero Charlie Austin continues in attack, but Rangers have been hit by injury with both Joey Barton and Richard Dunne absent.
Yun Suk-young, Leroy Fer and Bobby Zamora also drop out of the starting line-up although the latter two are on the bench, with Rio Ferdinand returning to the side to join Nedum Onouha and Steven Caulker in a three-man defence.
Mauricio Isla, Jordan Mutch and Niko Kranjcar all start with Armand Traore named as the left-wing-back, and Shaun Wright-Phillips is named on the bench.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini, Cazorla, Rosicky, Alexis, Giroud, Welbeck
Subs: Ospina, Chambers, Bellerin, Coquelin, Walcott, Podolski, Campbell
QPR: Green; Onouha, Ferdinand, Caulker; Isla, Mutch, Henry, Kranjcar, Traore; Austin, Vargas.
Subs: McCarthy, Hill, Phillips, Fer, Wright-Phillips, Hoilett, Zamora.Reuse content