Laurent Koscielny should be fit to make his return to the Arsenal side to face West Ham, having recovered from his calf injury.
The Frenchman’s pace, positioning and poise complement Mertesacker much better than Thomas Vermaelen, who often steps up and leaves Mertesacker exposed. Koscielny is far better at sweeping up behind.
Kieran Gibbs made a significant difference against Wigan Athletic when he came on for Nacho Monreal after 63 minutes.
The Latics had previously targeted the Spaniard as something of a weak point, and Gibbs not only solidified the left side of defence, but got forward extremely well too.
Having only played for around an hour against Wigan, Gibbs should be fit enough to start against West Ham – and Monreal is injured anyway.
With Mathieu Flamini still injured, Mikel Arteta will likely start once again at the base of the Arsenal midfield, attempting to dictate play.
The Spaniard looked exhausted against Wigan, but with Mathieu Flamini still suspended having received ten yellow cards this season, Arsene Wenger may have no other option but to start him.
Aaron Ramsey played 113 minutes in his comeback game for Arsenal against Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup.
Understandably, he appeared shattered afterwards, having been sidelined since December through injury.
The Wales international should be fit enough to play on the bench, but Arsene Wenger may hand January transfer window signing Kim Kallstrom his first start for the Gunners.