Mikel Arteta’s decision to shuffle the field in the FA Cup against Southampton last weekend was confirmed after Arsenal put in an impressive display at St Mary’s days later to take all three points from their Premier clash League.
Arsenal continued their strong league run, recording their fifth victory in their last six games. But Arteta could be forced to make changes again for his home fixture against Manchester United with Kieran Tierney, Emile Smith Rowe and Thomas Partey, all yet to be assessed ahead of Saturday’s game.
Add to that, it is not yet clear whether Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will return in time to be considered after being granted leave due to his mother’s poor health.
United are currently second in the Premier League and have enjoyed a solid campaign so far, but given Arsenal’s resurgence in recent times, the Gunners can imagine their chances of causing an upheaval. 90 mins see who Arteta should pick for the Red Devils visit.
Bernd Leno (GK) – Arsenal’s number one has been in impressive form recently, conceding just one goal in his last five Premier League appearances. He’s played every top-level game so far this season and there’s no reason he can’t continue in goal this weekend.
Hector Bellerin (RB) – The Spaniard received the captain’s armband from Arteta on Tuesday in Aubameyang’s absence and is clearly seen as a leader.
Rob Holding (CB) – Continued his solid form during the week and he has made his right-back center his own for the past two months.
David Luiz (CB) – The veteran defender didn’t have his best game at St Mary’s earlier this week, but given that Gabriel struggled in the FA Cup game a few days before, that doesn’t sound like the type of game in which it should be fired.
Cedric Soares (LB) – The Portuguese full-back impressed on the left midweek and if there is any doubt about Tierney’s physical form, he shouldn’t be risky and the 29-year-old should continue.
Granite Xhaka (CM) – The Switzerland international put in another excellent performance on Tuesday, dominating the midfielder.
Thomas Partey (CM) – According to reports, the Ghanaian should be in good shape for the weekend game. When he’s on the side he adds another dimension to Arsenal’s midfield.
Emile Smith Rowe (AM) – The creative midfielder is another player with form issues ahead of this one. However, Martin Odegaard arrived from Real Madrid during the week and offers Arteta an alternative if he decides not to risk Smith Rowe.
Bukayo Saka (RW) – The England international has taken his game to another level since moving from the left flank to the right. In his last six Premier League appearances, he has scored four goals and provided two assists.
Nicolas Pepe (LW) – The Ivorian had one of his best performances in an Arsenal shirt on Tuesday and crucially marked Arsenal’s equalizer.
Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – Scored his eighth league goal of the season for Southampton and assisted Saka for his. The center forward has been playing a key role lately and should definitely continue up front.