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[Image] No Lacazette, Ozil or Luiz – How Arsenal should line-up vs Man City

By on June 16, 2020

nicolas pepe arsenal

Premier League football returns when Arsenal travel to the Etihad to take on Man City on Wednesday night. Here’s the line-up I’d like Mikel Arteta to select…

Bernd Leno is certain to keep the gloves but it’s less clear who will make-up the back four. Arteta has plenty of options at his disposal but the key is finding the right balance to tighten things up as we’ve been poor at the back again this season.

Hector Bellerin should start at right-back but it will be interesting to see who plays on the opposite side of defence. Bukayo Saka excelled at left-back before the enforced break but Kieran Tierney is fully fit again and I’d like to see him given a run in the team.

David Luiz will no doubt keep his place but he’s an accident waiting to happen. Too often he’s cost us cheap goals this season and he was at it again during the friendly defeat to Brentford. So I’d like to see Sokratis starting alongside Pablo Mari – who had put-in some solid performances before the break.

Lucas Torreira is back in contention after recovering from an ankle ligament injury. The Uruguayan international was expected to miss the rest of the season but the break has given him the time he needed to make a full recovery.

I think Arsenal will need his battling qualities in the middle of the park against City so I’d start Torreira along with Granit Xhaka. That would mean Matteo Guendouzi has to make-do with a place on the bench.

mesut ozil arsenal 2018

Ozil benched

I just don’t see how Mesut Ozil can start this game. We’re not going to have the lions share of possession and all eleven men are going to have to work hard off the ball so I’d go with a three-man midfield and Ozil on the bench.

Joe Willock has done well in the friendlies recently against Charlton and Brentford but I would go with Dani Ceballos in a midfield trio alongside Xhaka and Torreira.

With Tierney starting at left-back, I would like to see Saka given a chance to impress further forward on the left wing. The youngster has been one of our best players this season so he deserves to keep his place in the team.

Unfortunately, that means there is no place for Gabriel Martinelli in my Arsenal eleven. He can play out on the right but his best position is from the left or through the middle as a striker and I’d give Nicolas Pepe the nod ahead of the Brazilian.

Pepe has shown flashes of his ability during his debut season at Arsenal but I think there is a lot more to come from him. Hopefully he can make a real impact during the final 10 games of the campaign.

No Lacazette

Alexandre Lacazette came off the bench to score the winner during the 1-0 win over West Ham before the break but I wouldn’t start him against City tomorrow night.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is wasted on the wing and should lead the line up front so Lacazette would be named among the substitutes in my squad for this match.

Reiss Nelson is another option for Arteta in attack but he too should be named on the bench at the Etihad.

Here is how I hope Arsenal line-up:

football formations

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