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Arsenal roster set to start against Southampton in FA Cup

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Having recently changed form in the Premier League, Arsenal are now focused on the next phase of their FA Cup defense.

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners travel to St. Mary’s to take on Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton in the fourth round, and given the quality of their opponents in their ranks, it will likely prove to be a very difficult tie.

The incumbents needed more time to defeat Newcastle in the third round, while Southampton recently passed Shrewsbury in a game that had been postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases.

The Saints have rested a number of players in this game, but they are likely to field a stronger side against Arsenal in order to progress. Here, 90 mins see who Arteta should pick for the outside side.

Maty ryan
Arsenal finished signing Mat Ryan on loan from Brighton on Friday, but will this game come too soon for him? | Chris Brunskill Ltd / Getty Images

Bernd Leno (GK) – The German has been in good shape lately and although in an ideal world Maty Ryan is coming to make his debut, this game has probably come a bit too early for him.

Hector Bellerin (RB) – An unused replacement in the win over Newcastle United on Monday, the Spaniard should be fresh for this one. His omission of the starting XI was a bit of a surprise and after Cédric’s impressive display, he will have a point to prove.

David Luiz (CB) – Has recently returned to the squad and although he is divided among fans at the club, Arsenal have continued to keep the sheets clean. Rob Holding has been playing a lot of football lately and could take a break so why not allow the Brazilian to continue.

Gabriel (CB) – Still, to come back to the side since testing positive for COVID-19, Gabriel could have his chance here with Pablo Mari unavailable.

Cedric (LB) – The former Saints man has been brilliant against Newcastle and although he is a predominantly right-handed player he is no stranger to playing on the other flank. Kieran Tierney would also like to rest.

Thomas Partey returned to starting lineup midweek and made an immediate impact
Thomas Partey returned to starting lineup midweek and made immediate impact | Visionhaus / Getty Images

Granite Xhaka (CM) – The Switzerland international is currently playing some of the best football of his career at Arsenal, and with lingering question marks over Dani Ceballos’ fitness, he should anchor the midfielder.

Mohamed Elneny (CM) – The Egyptian has been in and out of the side this season, with Thomas Partey barely back from injury Arsenal are expected to wrap him in cotton before Manchester United’s next visit so the Egyptian is expected to start.

Willian (AM) – It’s fair to say that so far Willian’s move to Arsenal hasn’t really worked out. But he has to succeed at some point, right? Emile Smith Rowe should probably rest, giving him the opportunity to shine at the former Chelsea man.

Gabriel Martinelli will be in contention to start at St. Mary's after recently recovering from an ankle injury
Gabriel Martinelli will be in contention to start at St. Mary’s after recently recovering from ankle injury | Visionhaus / Getty Images

Nicolas Pepe (RW) – The Ivorian has struggled to make an impact at Arsenal and given Bukayo Saka’s recent form, he needs to seize all the opportunities available to him.

Gabriel Martinelli (LW) – A breath of fresh air every time he takes to the pitch with an Arsenal shirt. His explosive style is extremely pleasing to the eye and given he is unlikely to move captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the Premier League, the FA Cup is his place to shine.

Eddie Nketiah (ST) – The young striker was deprived of playing time recently and has a point to prove. Alexandre Lacazette will be needed against United, and new legs for this game should get Nketiah started here.

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