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4-2-3-1 – Leno & Torreira start, Xhaka axed: Arsenal’s best line-up to face Newcastle

By on September 14, 2018

Premier League football returns after the interlull and Arsenal travel to St James’ Park to take on Newcastle on Saturday afternoon. This is the line-up I’d like Unai Emery to select…

Goalkeeper: Leno

I’m going to keep asking for Leno to start until Emery listens [not that he reads this blog!]. Cech is clearly not comfortable with the ball at his feet or being asked to play out from the back and he nearly cost us another two goals against Cardiff. His shot-stopping has been solid but if Emery wants a playmaker keeper, then he has to give Leno his chance.

Defence: Bellerin, Sokratis, Mustafi, Monreal

Koscielny has stepped up his recovery from an Achilles injury by starting ball work in training but the Frenchman is still several weeks away from being available for selection so we’ll have to stick with Mustafi alongside Sokratis. The pair are still nowhere near convincing enough at the back but hopefully they can tighten things up tomorrow.

Bellerin’s place is under ever-increasing scrutiny as he keeps getting caught out defensively but I still think he’s a better all-round option than Lichtsteiner while Monreal will obviously continue at left-back. Kolasinac should be back in early October but Monreal has been solid this season.

Midfield: Torreira, Ramsey

Like Leno, I think it’s time to give Torreira his chance. I’m not sure what else he has to do to earn a start? He’s always impressed when called off the bench and was excellent against Cardiff after setting up the winner. He’ll offer us some much needed protection in front of the defence and he’s been passed fit after picking up a minor knock on international duty. If I was a betting man at STS then I’d back Torreira being named on the bench again but for me it’s a no brainer.

Guendouzi has been hugely impressive since arriving in the summer but he’s still very young and needs time to develop as a player so I think it’s a big ask for him to start week-in, week-out.

Xhaka continues to divide opinion among the fans with his inconsistent displays. There is no doubt he’s an important part of our build-up play when we have the ball but he’s a liability when we’re not in possession. For me, the cons outweigh the pros.

Therefore, I’d like to see Ramsey deployed in a deeper role alongside Torreira. Rambo has been playing further forward this season but I still think his best position is in the box-to-box role and I think a partnership with Torreira has a lot of potential.

Attack: Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Emery has once again called on Ozil to give us more as he’s been under-performing so far this season but the problem is he’s just too good a player to leave out. Ozil started out wide at Cardiff but there’s no doubt his best position is centrally so I’d have him back in the No.10 role.

That would allow for Mkhitaryan to get a recall as he was harshly dropped last time out and Iwobi can return to the bench after missing the Cardiff game with illness.

Emery finally started Lacazette and Aubameyang together against Cardiff and it paid off as they both scored wonderful goals so let’s hope the boss gives them a chance to develop a proper partnership.

Here is the side I hope we’ll see:

For me, this is Arsenal’s best available eleven but sadly I think Emery will stick with Cech in goal while no doubt Xhaka will keep his place in midfield against Newcastle. We may even see Miki on the bench again with Ramsey in the 10 and Ozil out wide with Guendouzi keeping his place.

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