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4-3-1-2: Ozil & Monreal start | Arsenal’s strongest line-up to face Cardiff

By on January 28, 2019

Arsenal need to get back to winning ways and maintain the pressure on the top four with a win over Cardiff City on Tuesday evening. This is the line-up I’d like Unai Emery to select…

Goalkeeper: Leno

Cech started against Man Utd in the FA Cup and didn’t exactly cover himself in glory during the 3-1 defeat so I think it’s an easy decision to recall Leno tomorrow night.

Defence: Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Monreal, Kolasinac

Once again Arsenal’s squad has been ripped apart by injuries. Sokratis has been ruled out for at least three weeks after suffering an ankle injury against United while Koscileny took a nasty kick to the face. It’s been confirmed he didn’t break his jaw but reports suggest he’ll still need surgery to remove a blood clot so he could be out for a while.

Emery confirmed at his press conference today that Koscielny won’t be available against Cardiff so with Holding also out for the season, he has a big problem in the middle of defence. Obviously Mustafi will be recalled but it’s a toss-up between Mavropanos, Monreal and Lichtsteiner to come in alongside the German. I’d go with Monreal.

With Bellerin also out for the rest of the campaign we have a void to fill at right-back. Maitland-Niles looked nervy against United but I still think he’d a better option that Lichtsteiner. Kolasinac should keep his place at left-back.

Midfield: Torreira, Xhaka, Ramsey

Arsenal looked great with a diamond in midfield and I hope we see it again tomorrow. Torreira should sit in front of the back four and just shield the defence. He did this to great effect during the early months of the season but for some reason he’s been getting forward a lot more in recent games. I think he should hold his position and protect the back four with Xhaka and Ramsey just in front of him.

mesut ozil arsenal 2018

Emery will probably go with Guendouzi on the right of the diamond and Ramsey in the No.10 role but I think Rambo should be deployed in the No.8 position to get the best out of him.

Attack: Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Ozil came off the bench against United and it’s fair to say he barely got out of first gear. It wasn’t the easiest game to come in to but he could at least have looked reasonably interested. It’s obvious Emery doesn’t see a role for him but I hate to see our most creative player sitting on the bench while we struggle to create clear-cut chances.

I think Cardiff at home is a good game for Ozil. Lower league team at the Emirates is easy pickings for him. I’d start Mesut and hope to get a morale-booting performance out of him. If he’s not interested, then Emery can hook him at half-time.

Aubameyang and Lacazette should get back to playing together up front. I wasn’t a fan of us playing with Aubameyang on the wing against United so let’s get our two strikers back together and they’ll cause havoc with Ozil supplying them.

That means a place for Iwobi on the bench. I love his enthusiasm and he works hard but his end product needs to improve if we’re to rely on him as our chief creator. Mkhitaryan has been back in training but I don’t think he’ll be fit enough to start just yet.

Here is the side I hope we’ll see:

football formations

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