Alexis Sanchez dropped from starting line-up for Liverpool vs Arsenal while Mesut Özil ruled out with flu

Arsenal are without their two best players for the trip to Anfield

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Mesut Özil has been ruled out of Arsenal’s important Premier League clash against Liverpool after the midfielder was left at home with flu, while Alexis Sanchez has been left out of the starting line-up.

The Germany international was given time off last week by manager Arsene Wenger, and missed the FA Cup victory over Sutton United nearly a fortnight ago as he returned to his homeland for a mid-season break, as well as travelling to Turkey.

But having returned from his short break for training this week, Özil was sent home by Wenger after it became clear he was not 100 per cent, and he does not feature in the squad that has travelled north to Anfield for the Premier League encounter.

His absence is compounded by Wenger’s decision to leave Alexis Sanchez on the substitutes’ bench, with the reason why the Chile international does not start still unclear.

The result is a rare start for Alex Iwobi in the No 10 position behind striker Olivier Giroud, with Danny Welbeck coming in to the starting line-up on the left of an attacking midfield trio with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right.

Teams

Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Klavan, Milner; Can, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Coutinho, Mane, Firmino.

Subs: Karius, Moreno, Lucas, Alexander, Lovren, Origi, Woodburn.

Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Xhaka; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwoboi, Giroud.

Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Gabriel, Ramsey, Walcott, Alexis, Lucas.

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