Wilshere rested, Mertesacker handed Arsenal captaincy

By Wayne Veysey

Per Mertesacker will captain Arsenal against Brighton on Saturday after Arsene Wenger decided to rest Jack Wilshere at the eleventh hour.

Wilshere had been due to lead the team in the absence of regular skipper Thomas Vermaelen and his vice-captain Mikel Arteta.
But Wenger has had a change of heart and rings the changes for the FA Cup fourth-round tie, with Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs and the injured Vermaelen dropping out of the side that started against West Ham in midweek.
Carl Jenkinson, Andre Santos and Laurent Koscielny will join Per Mertesacker in the back four, with Tomas Rosicky linking up with Aaron Ramsey and fit-again Abou Diaby in midfield.
In attack there is no Theo Walcott, who is on the bench, so Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud feature.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker (c), Koscielny, Santos, Diaby, Ramsey, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Giroud

Subs: Mannone, Sagna, Gibbs, Wilshere, Cazorla, Arshavin, Walcott

Brighton: Ankergren; Calderon, Greer, El-Abd, Bridge; Bridcutt, Hammond, Lopez; Buckley, Barnes, Ulloa

Subs: Kuszczak (GK), Painter, Dicker, Orlandi, LuaLua, Vicente, Mackail-Smith.

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