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Preview: Huddersfield vs Arsenal – relief over key man, Ozil to start + prediction

By on February 9, 2019

pierre-emerick aubameyang arsenal

Arsenal can move level on points with fourth-placed Chelsea with a win over Huddersfield at the John Smiths’ Stadium this afternoon.

Last weekend’s sobering 3-1 defeat at Manchester City was another example of just how far off the big boys we are right now and highlighted how much work Unai Emery has to do before we’ll be challenging for the title again.

However, while City might be out of our reach, we’re still fighting for Champions League qualification. Man Utd have knocked us down to sixth and they can move four points ahead if they beat Fulham at lunchtime – which is highly likely.

So Arsenal need to keep pace with our top four rivals by beating Huddersfield this afternoon to move level on points with Chelsea ahead of their trip to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

We’ll face a Huddersfield side that currently sit rock bottom of the table on just 11 points so it would be a disaster if we don’t come home with a win from the John Smith’s Stadium.

Team news

Emery confirmed at his pre-match press conference that Laurent Koscielny and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would be assessed after being ill last week. Koscielny was spotted in training on Friday but fans were concerned Aubameyang would miss out today after not being seen in the official photos published on Getty. However, Arsenal’s official photographer later published a photo that showed the striker DID take part in training yesterday so he should be available this afternoon.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles also took part in the session after recovering from a knee injury so he should be in the squad while Henrikh Mkhitaryan is back in contention but it looks like Granit Xhaka will miss out again with a groin problem.

Sokratis is also still recovering from an ankle injury so he remains on the sidelines with long-term Arsenal absentees Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck.

As for Huddersfield, they’ll be without Isaac Mbenza, Danny Williams and Abelhamid Sabiri but Jonathan Hogg and Erik Durm are set to return to the squad.

Preferred line-up

I’d go with a back four with AMN replacing Stephan Lichtsteiner at right-back while I’d prefer to see Nacho Monreal partnering Kos in defence with Shkodran Mustafi on the bench. I’d also go with a diamond in midfield with Aaron Ramsey in his preferred No.8 role alongside Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira in the holding role.

I don’t think Denis Suarez is ready to start yet so I think it’s a good opportunity to recall Mesut Ozil with the German playing behind our front two. This would be my line-up:

football formations

Prediction

Huddersfield have only scored five goals at home all season and haven’t found the target in any of their last five games so surely even Arsenal can keep a clean sheet today?! They got spanked 5-0 at Chelsea last weekend so we have no excuses for not picking up a win today. Arsenal’s away form has been poor again this season but I’m still backing us to run out 2-0 winners today. Huddersfield 0-2 Arsenal

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