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[Image] Pepe starts, duo ruled out: The Arsenal XI Freddie should pick vs Man City

By on December 14, 2019

nicolas pepe arsenal

Arsenal can make a real statement by securing a positive result when we welcome Manchester City to the Emirates on Sunday. Here is the line-up I’d like Freddie Ljungberg to select…

Bellerin fit?

Hector Bellerin is a doubt with a hamstring injury that has kept him out of Arsenal’s last two games. He’ll have a late fitness test and hopefully he’s passed fit to start otherwise Ainsley Maitland-Niles will fill in at right-back.

Kieran Tierney has been ruled out for up to three months with a dislocated shoulder so Sead Kolasinac will start at left-back. Hopefully Freddie does away with the back three that he selected against Standard Liege and plays a 4-2-3-1 formation.

I think Calum Chambers did well against West Ham and deserves to keep his place in the centre of defence. With Rob Holding still out with a knee problem, we’ve got to choose between Sokratis, David Luiz, Kostas Mavropanos and Shkodran Mustafi for the other position in defence. Sokratis is probably the best of a bad bunch right now.

Torreira starts

Granit Xhaka remains out with concussion and Dani Ceballos is still working his way back to full fitness from a hamstring injury so Freddie doesn’t have too many options in the middle of the park.

Joe Willock was poor again on Thursday night and he’s going through a bad patch of form so I think it’s an easy choice for Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi to start in midfield on Sunday afternoon.

matteo guendouzi

Pepe a doubt

Reports suggest Nicolas Pepe is a doubt for the City game after suffering a bruised knee against West Ham last week. Let’s pray he’s passed fit to start as he was excellent at the London Stadium and is starting to show why we paid £72m for him.

Assuming Pepe plays, I’d go with Mesut Ozil in the advanced midfield role and Gabriel Martinelli on the left wing. If Pepe is ruled out, then Bukayo Saka can come into the side on the left with Martinelli on the right. Saka was superb against Liege so I’d have no problem with him keeping his place.

Freddie took the bold decision to drop Alexandre Lacazette and play Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang through the middle against West Ham and I think it’s the right call as we looked more balanced.

Lacazette got a goal on his return to the team on Thursday night but he was poor for much of the game so I’d have him on the bench against City with Aubameyang leading the line up front for Arsenal.

Here is how I hope Arsenal line-up on Sunday:

football formations

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