4-2-3-1: Jenkinson & Pleguezuelo to start: My Arsenal line-up to face Blackpool

By on October 31, 2018


Unai Emery is expected to make plenty of changes as Arsenal welcome Blackpool to the Emirates in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup tonight. This is the line-up I’d like the boss to select…

Goalkeeper: Cech

Bernd Leno retained his place between the sticks for the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday so it looks like he’s now Emery’s No.1. Therefore, Petr Cech has been demoted and should be handed a start tonight after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Defence: Lichtsteiner, Pleguezuelo, Sokratis, Jenkinson

We have huge problems in the full-back areas as Hector Bellerin has become the latest player to be ruled out after picking up a thigh injury against Palace on Sunday. Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac are back in training after missing the last three games with hamstring injuries but they’re unlikely to be risked tonight as Emery should give them more time ahead of Saturday’s huge clash with Liverpool.

So I’d like to see Stephan Lichtsteiner start at left-back with Carl Jenkinson coming in at right-back to make his first appearance since playing against Southampton in the League Cup almost two years ago.

Sokratis is expected to be recalled after being named on the bench at the weekend and Emery will probably pair him with either Rob Holding or Shkodran Mustafi. However, I wouldn’t risk two of our main centre-backs against Blackpool. With Laurent Koscielny and Dinos Mavropanos unavailable, I’d like to see youngster Julio Pleguezuelo given a chance. The Spaniard trained with the first team squad this week so he’ll probably be in the squad but I’d give him a start.

Midfield: Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi

Granit Xhaka has been playing at left-back recently but he should get a rest tonight while Lucas Torreira should also be given a breather ahead of the Liverpool game. Matteo Guendouzi should keep his place in midfield as I don’t think he’ll start against the Merseysiders but Mohamed Elneny has been ruled out for two weeks with a muscle injury.

So we have a position to be filled in midfield and I’d love to see Ainsley Maitland-Niles given a chance after recovering from a fractured leg that he suffered on the opening weekend of the season.

Attack: Ramsey, Smith Rowe, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck

Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette should all be rested and given the night off to prepare for the Liverpool game on Saturday so we should see plenty of changes in attack.

Aaron Ramsey will obviously come in having lost his first team place while I’d like to think we’ll see Emile Smith Rowe given another chance to impress. Neither are natural wingers and would prefer to play centrally but they can rotate during the game.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is likely to be recalled after being named on the bench at Palace while Danny Welbeck should lead the line up front. I’d like to see Eddie Nketiah feature but probably from the bench.

Here is the side I hope we’ll see:

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