Wenger drops Ozil; Demichelis kept in Man City side

Club-record signing Mesut Ozil has been left out of the Arsenal squad for today’s Barclays Premier League clash against Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger drops Ozil; Demichelis kept in Man City side

Club-record signing Mesut Ozil has been left out of the Arsenal squad for today’s Barclays Premier League clash against Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium.

The German playermaker had missed an early penalty in the midweek 2-0 home defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League, and has been taken off the frontline by Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.

Striker Olivier Giroud return to the starting XI as does midfielder Mikel Arteta, who was suspended for the European tie.

Sunderland are set to play Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final next weekend, but are also scrapping for top-flight survival. Goalkeeper Vito Mannone faces his old club, but former Gunners midfielder Seb Larsson has to be content with a place on the bench.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Rosicky, Podolski, Giroud.

Subs: Oxlade-Chamberlain, Flamini, Fabianski, Sanogo, Bendtner, Jenkinson, Gnabry.

Sunderland: Mannone, Bardsley, Vergini, O’Shea, Alonso, Bridcutt, Johnson, Ki, Colback, Borini, Altidore.

Subs: Larsson, Gardner, Celustka, Giaccherini, Cuellar, Scocco, Ustari.

Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

Man City v Stoke

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini retains Martin Demichelis in defence for his side’s Barclays Premier League clash with Stoke.

Pellegrini keeps faith with the Argentinian after his midweek sending off against Barcelona but Samir Nasri returns in midfield and Edin Dzeko partners Alvaro Negredo up front.

City are looking to keep the pressure on Chelsea and Arsenal at the top while Stoke, unchanged from their draw with Swansea on February 12, are bidding to prolong a three-game unbeaten run.

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Silva, Fernandinho, Toure, Nasri, Dzeko, Negredo.

Subs: Lescott, Milner, Javi Garcia, Jesus Navas, Clichy, Pantilimon, Jovetic.

Stoke: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters, Whelan, Adam, Walters, Arnautovic, Odemwingie, Crouch.

Subs: Muniesa, Palacios, Nzonzi, Etherington, Wilkinson, Sorensen, Ireland.

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

West Ham v Southampton

Southampton revert to the side that won their last Barclays Premier League match for their clash at West Ham.

After coming under criticism for making six changes in last weekend’s FA Cup defeat at Sunderland, Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino returns to the side that began their last league outing at Hull.

Dejan Lovren and Gaston Ramirez are named amongst the substitutes after returning from injury, while West Ham name the same side that beat Norwich last time out.

West Ham: Adrian, Demel, Collins, Tomkins, McCartney, Noble, Taylor, Downing, Nolan, Jarvis, Carlton Cole.

Subs: Reid, Armero, Collison, Diame, Jaaskelainen, Joe Cole, Nocerino.

Southampton: Boruc, Chambers, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw, Schneiderlin, Cork, Rodriguez, Steven Davis, Lallana, Lambert.

Subs: Kelvin Davis, Clyne, Lovren, Ramirez, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Gallagher.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

Cardiff v Hull

Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer makes four changes to his side for today’s Barclays Premier League visit of Hull.

Kenwyne Jones, Craig Noone, Don Cowie and Fabio Da Silva all come into the starting XI from the team that lost to Wigan in the FA Cup last week. Among those missing for the relegation battlers are injured midfielder Gary Medel and suspended striker Craig Bellamy.

Hull boss Steve Bruce also rings the changes from the team that drew at Brighton in the cup, bringing in the strike partnership of Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic, as well as David Meyler, Liam Rosenior and his son Alex.

Cardiff: Marshall, Da Silva, Caulker, Cala, Taylor, Zaha, Cowie, Eikrem, Noone, Campbell, Jones.

Subs: Turner, Whittingham, Gunnarsson, Daehli, Lewis, Berget, John.

Hull: McGregor, Rosenior, Bruce, Davies, Figueroa, Elmohamady, Livermore, Huddlestone, Meyler, Jelavic, Long.

Subs: Chester, Koren, Boyd, Sagbo, Harper, Aluko, Quinn.

Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

West Brom v Fulham

New Fulham manager Felix Magath makes five changes to his side for his first match in charge against West Brom at The Hawthorns.

The Barclays Premier League’s first German manager brings in Brede Hangeland, Fernando Amorebieta, Ashkan Dejagah, Scott Parker and Hugo Rodallega after the 3-2 defeat against Liverpool, with John Arne Riise, Dan Burn and William Kvist on the bench and Ryan Tunnicliffe and Darren Bent axed.

Without a win in his five matches in charge to date – albeit earning points from comebacks at home to Everton, Liverpool and Chelsea – manager Pepe Mel makes three changes from the team that held Jose Mourinho’s side 1-1.

Billy Jones and Jonas Olsson return from injury to strengthen the defence in place of Steven Reid and Craig Dawson, whilst Youssouf Mulumbu replaces hamstring injury victim Claudio Yacob in midfield.

West Brom: Foster, Billy Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Amalfitano, Morrison, Mulumbu, Brunt, Berahino, Thievy.

Subs: Sinclair, Myhill, Anichebe, Dorrans, Vydra, Gera, Dawson.

Fulham: Stekelenburg, Riether, Heitinga, Hangeland, Amorebieta, Parker, Sidwell, Dejagah, Holtby, Richardson, Rodallega.

Subs: Riise, Kvist Jorgensen, Kasami, Stockdale, Mitroglou, Burn, Tankovic.

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

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