4-3-2-1: Trio fit, Mavropanos to start?: My Arsenal XI to face Atletico Madrid

By on May 2, 2018

petr cech arsenal

Arsenal’s season rests on the second leg of our Europa League semi-final with Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano on Thursday night.

Here is the team I would like to see Arsene Wenger select….

Goalkeeper: Cech

The boss has confirmed that he plans to start Ospina in goal but I think that would be a mistake. There’s no doubt Cech’s form has dipped dramatically this season but he’s still a much better all-round keeper than Ospina, so I’d go with our No.1 for this crucial game.

Defence: Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal

We will see plenty of changes in defence as Wenger rested some of his key players during the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford at the weekend.

Kostantinos Mavropanos was excellent on his debut and some fans have even called for him to start ahead of Mustafi tomorrow night. I’m no fan of Mustafi and Mavropanos looks to be a huge prospect but it’s too much of a risk to play the 20-year-old in a game of this magnitude.

Therefore, I’d stick with Mustafi alongside Koscielny and hope they produce a rare defensive masterclass while Bellerin and Monreal will obviously start in the full-back positions.

Kolasinac has shaken off an ankle problem that forced him off at the weekend but he should be on the bench alongside Chambers, etc.

Midfield: Xhaka, Ramsey, Wilshere

Elneny is making good progress in his recovery from an ankle injury that he suffered against West Ham last month but this game will come too soon for the Egyptian international.

Xhaka is such a frustrating player as he’s been playing well of late but then he goes and reminds us how brain-dead he is by diving-in during the build-up to the United opening goal on Sunday.

I think Maitland-Niles is putting some serious pressure on as he was excellent in midfield at the weekend but I’d still go with Xhaka tomorrow night with Ramsey and Wilshere being recalled alongside him.

alexandre lacazette

Attack: Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette

Obviously Aubameyang is ineligible in the Europa League so Lacazette will start up front and he should be fresh after being rested at the weekend. He’s been in great form of late and was arguably our best player in the first leg so hopefully he’s on fire tomorrow.

This is a huge game for Ozil. We desperately need our star man to produce the kind of world class performance we know he’s capable of. Obviously he can play when we have the ball but in a game like this it’s just as important what he does when we’re not in possession. Let’s pray Mesut is up for this game and not in one of his ‘wandering around sulking’ moods.

Mkhitaryan has made a swift recovery after taking a knock to his knee at the weekend so I’d start in him attack ahead of Welbeck and Iwobi.

This is the team I hope we see:

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