New signings make debuts as Emery opts for 4-3-3: Predicted Arsenal XI vs Boreham Wood

By on July 13, 2018


Unai Emery will take charge of his first game as Arsenal manager when we kick off our pre-season preparations with a friendly against Boreham Wood on Saturday afternoon.

Our new boss seems to have settled well in England since replacing Arsene Wenger at the end of last season and it’s certainly going to take some getting used to after 21 year of seeing Wenger in the dugout.

Emery has wasted no time revamping the squad he inherited as he’s already brought in five new signings this summer and more are expected before the window shuts next month.

Bernd Leno has arrived from Bayer Leverkusen and the German goalkeeper should be given his chance to impress tomorrow. Emery gave little away over who’ll be his No.1 next season but Petr Cech’s form was poor for much of last season so I hope we give Leno a chance from the start to stake his claim.

Sokratis has been signed from Borussia Dortmund and the centre-back should also make his full debut against Boreham Wood but it will be interesting to see who lines-up alongside the Greek international.

Calum Chambers ended last season well and has been rewarded with a new contract after Emery hinted he’d be part of his plans so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him given the nod ahead of Shkodran Mustafi tomorrow.

There will be no sign of summer signing Stephan Lichtsteiner or Nacho Monreal as they’re still enjoying a post World Cup break so Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac could start in the full-back positions.

Emery has deployed a 4-3-3 for much of his managerial career and he could play a similar formation at Arsenal, although he may also try out a 4-2-3-1 as we have the players to play either system.

Fans will have to wait to see Lucas Torreira make his first appearance in an Arsenal shirt as he’s not started pre-season training yet following his exploits at the World Cup. Granit Xhaka and Mo Elneny are also still on their holidays so we could see Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the holding role.

Aaron Ramsey is expected to get a run-out and Emery has made it clear the Welshman is an important part of his plans. Recent signing Matteo Guendouzi only began training on Wednesday so he’s unlikely to start but he could get a game in the second half.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan could be deployed in a deeper central midfield role if Emery goes 4-3-3 or in the No.10 position in a 4-2-3-1 while youngster Joe Willock is another option for the manager.

In attack, I expect we’ll see Alexandre Lacazette leading the line up front with Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang possibly out wide where he finished last season.

The likes of Alex Iwobi, Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck aren’t available yet due to their World Cup involvement so Reiss Nelson may get a chance to impress against Boreham Wood.

This is the possible line-up we’ll see tomorrow:

Obviously it’s difficult to know what Emery will do at this stage of the season but he’s promised a strong team and we’ve had plenty of first team players in pre-season training so there’s no reason not to go strong tomorrow.

This is the expected squad:

Cech, Leno, Martinez, Bellerin, Osei-Tutu, Jenkinson, Mustafi, Sokratis, Holding, Chambers, Mavropanos, Kolasinac, Willock, Ramsey, Maitland-Niles, Reine-Adelaide, Smith-Rowe, Guendouzi, Mkhitaryan, Nelson, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Akpom, Nketiah, Perez.