Mustafi & Mkhitaryan out, Kolasinac starts | Arsenal’s best XI to face Liverpool

By on November 1, 2018


Arsenal can announce themselves as genuine title contenders with a win when Liverpool come to the Emirates on Saturday evening. This is the line-up I’d like Unai Emery to select…

Goalkeeper: Leno

Petr Cech was back between the sticks for the League Cup clash with Blackpool but he failed to impress during a nervy display so I don’t think there can be any doubt Bernd Leno deserves to be recalled this weekend.

Defence: Bellerin, Holding, Sokratis, Kolasinac

Sead Kolasinac returned to full training earlier this week after recovering from a hamstring injury so he’s expected to be available on Saturday. There has been no update on Nacho Monreal’s condition [at the time of writing] so assuming he’s still hampered by his hamstring issue, then Kolasinac should start at left-back.

Hector Bellerin is a doubt with a thigh problem that he picked up against Crystal Palace but the issue isn’t thought to be serious so fingers crossed the Spaniard is fit. If not, then Stephan Lichtsteiner is on stand-by to continue at right-back.

Sokratis should be recalled in the middle of defence after being rested in midweek but it will be interesting to see who partners him. Shkodran Mustafi is probably the favourite but I’d stick with Rob Holding. The Englishman has been quietly going about his business in recent weeks and he doesn’t have the same ability to self-destruct as Mustafi. So I’d rather see Holding up against the Liverpool attack than the German.

Midfield: Torreira, Xhaka

Matteo Guendouzi was excellent against Blackpool on Wednesday night before his needless sending off so he’ll be suspended on Saturday. Mohamed Elneny is out with a muscle injury and Ainsley Maitland-Niles looked short of fitness after making his return from injury in the League Cup.

Therefore, I don’t think there can be too much debate over who’ll start in midfield as Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka should be recalled in the middle of the park.

Attack: Aubameyang, Ozil, Iwobi, Lacazette

Mesut Ozil will obviously be recalled to the starting eleven after being rested in midweek and we’ll be hoping for a repeat of the form he showed against Leicester City recently as he was poor at Crystal Palace last weekend. Aaron Ramsey didn’t take his chance against Blackpool so he’ll make way.

Alex Iwobi has suddenly become an important part of the first team so I’d start him in attack with Henrikh Mkhitaryan missing out as things aren’t going for the Armenian international right now.

Emile Smith Rowe scored his second senior goal for Arsenal against Blackpool but the youngster will obviously make way against Liverpool while Danny Welbeck will have been disappointed with his performance in the League Cup.

Therefore, I’d start Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left side of the attack with Alexandre Lacazette recalled to lead the line up front and we’ll need our star duo on top form if we’re to get anything against a dangerous Liverpool side.

Here is the side I hope we’ll see:

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