Arsenal team news: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fails late fitness test as Harry Redknapp makes five changes for QPR

Ferdinand returns for Rangers but Barton and Dunne miss out through injury

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The Independent Football

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.

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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.


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.

Rio Ferdinand

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.