[Image] Ozil & Ramsey start, Xhaka out | Arsenal’s best line-up to face Southampton

By on February 23, 2019

sokratis arsenal 2018

Arsenal can move three points clear of Chelsea with a win over Southampton at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon. This is the line-up I’d like Unai Emery to select…

Goalkeeper: Leno

Petr Cech has kept goal for the last two games in the Europa League but Bernd Leno should be recalled between the sticks tomorrow afternoon.

Defence: Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Mustafi, Kolasinac

Emery went with a back four against BATE Borisov on Thursday night and I hope the boss sticks with that system tomorrow as it seems unnecessary to go with three centre-backs at home to Southampton. Laurent Koscielny was forced off with a calf problem in midweek so I wouldn’t risk him. Therefore, Sokratis should be recalled to start alongside Shkodran Mustafi.

Nacho Monreal did okay against BATE but he doesn’t pose the same threat going forward as Sead Kolasinac so I’d recall the Bosnian international while I’d also like to see Ainsley Maitland-Niles return at right-back if he recovers from illness.

Midfield: Torreira, Guendouzi

Arsenal started with Matteo Guendouzi alongside Granit Xhaka last time out but that combination just doesn’t work for me. I’d rather we went with a diamond in midfield with Lucas Torreira playing in the deep-lying holding role in front of the back four.

mesut ozil arsenal 2018

Guendouzi deserves to keep his place as he’s been one of our best players in recent weeks while I think Aaron Ramsey would be ideally suited to playing on the right side of the diamond in the box-to-box role. That means Xhaka would miss out but I don’t think we can find a formation with him and Guendouzi in it and the young Frenchman deserves his place right now.

Attack: Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Mesut Ozil was back in the starting eleven on Thursday night and I thought he made a difference. We looked far more fluent going forward with him in the side and although there is still a lot more to come from him, I hope Emery gives him another chance tomorrow. Ozil would be perfect for the No.10 position at the tip of a diamond behind a front two and I think the German playmaker would create plenty of chances against Southampton.

Alexandre Lacazette was suspended against Borisov on Thursday night so he’ll be fresh and I’d love to see him starting alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in attack tomorrow afternoon. With Ozil supplying the ammunition, we could have a lot of joy going forward.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi would provide options from the bench but this is the starting eleven I hope we’ll see:

football formations