It's required that teams make their lineups available to the public a minimum of one hour before kickoff. This is a custom that most teams adhere to reflexively - it's just part of the routine. Every once in a while, though, things get done a bit differently, for...reasons. Today is one of those once in a whiles, as David Hytner (among others) tweeted out in a few tweets this morning:
Unusual for Wenger to name his team in advance #afc— David Hytner (@DaveHytner) December 8, 2014
#afc v Gala (4-3-3): Szczesny; Debuchy, Mertesacker, Chambers, Bellerin; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Flamini, Ramsey; Campbell, Sanogo, Podolski— David Hytner (@DaveHytner) December 8, 2014
Six kids on the bench for #afc tomorrow v Gala: Akpom, Zelalem, Kamara, O'Connor, Iwobi, Maitland-Niles— David Hytner (@DaveHytner) December 8, 2014
Why did Arsene announce his team today and not wait? Not really sure, and it's not a big deal either way - this wasn't a leak, it came straight from Arsene, so it's not like THERE'S A MOLE INSIDE CTU or anything. It just seems to be One Of Those Things, and so now we have a whole day to discuss the intricacies of the actual game lineup as opposed to an hour. Yay?