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4-3-1-2: Torreira & Holding start, Mustafi axed | Arsenal’s best XI to face Watford

By on September 27, 2018

Arsenal get back to Premier League action when we take on Watford at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon. This is the line-up I’d like Unai Emery to select…

Goalkeeper: Cech

I’ve been calling for Bernd Leno to be given the number one shirt on a regular basis but he’s not exactly convinced on his first two starts for the club so perhaps he’s not ready just yet. Plus, Petr Cech has been in great form lately so he deserves to remain our number one jersey for now.

Defence: Bellerin, Sokratis, Holding, Monreal

There will be changes at the back with Hector Bellerin coming in for Stephan Lichtsteiner at right-back while Sokratis has been passed fit to return after missing the Brentford game with a knock in midweek.

Sead Kolasinac was named on the bench in the Carabao Cup clash after returning from a knee injury that’s kept him out since pre-season but Nacho Monreal should retain his place at left-back this weekend.

No doubt Shkodran Mustafi will keep his place alongside Sokratis but I’d like to see Rob Holding given a chance as he’s been impressive when called upon this season. Plus, Mustafi is a total liability at times, so I’d like Holding to partner Sokratis until Laurent Koscielny returns from injury.

Midfield: Torreira, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan

Lucas Torreira was rested against Brentford having made a late substitute appearance so he’ll be fresh to start on Saturday. It’s going to be interesting to see if Emery now sees him as a first team regular but I hope so as he brings a lot of stability to the midfield.

pierre-emerick aubameyang arsenal

I personally don’t think our midfield is working so I’d love to see us try a new system with Torreira at the base in the holding role and Aaron Ramsey one of two players deployed slightly in front of him.

Ramsey isn’t performing as a number 10 and is best deeper in a box-to-box role while I think Henrikh Mkhitaryan or Alex Iwobi would offer a good balance in this system. Granit Xhaka will no doubt keep his place but I think he has too many draw backs to justify keeping him in the side.

Attack: Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Playing a diamond in midfield with Ramsey deeper would also allow us to deploy Mesut Ozil in his best position; centrally behind the strikers.  He’s been playing on the wing recently but there’s no doubt he’s more influential in the number 10 role so let’s play to his strengths.

The same can be said for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabon hitman has been played on the wing to accommodate Alexandre Lacazette up front and while I think we need them both to start, I’m not convinced by the current set-up. However, playing a diamond will allow us to start Aubameyang and Lacazette up front together and I think this formation has a lot of potential.

Danny Welbeck would feel unfortunate to miss out after his excellent goal-scoring display on Wednesday night but he’d be a very useful substitute to have on the bench.

Here is the side I hope we’ll see:

In reality, Emery will stick with his usual system with Xhaka next to Torreira, Ozil on the right, Ramsey in the 10 and Auba on the wing. To be fair, we’ve won our last five games with that set-up but I just think the above system would get more out of our best players.

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One Comment

  1. DarlingbudsofArse

    September 27, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    You got it spot on! Xhaka especially is a liability and I don’t know what this clueless Emery sees in him as did his predecessor Wenger!

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