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[Image] Key duo return, Ozil also starts – How Arsenal should line-up vs Southampton

By on June 24, 2020

mesut ozil arsenal 2018

Arsenal are back on the south coast to take on Southampton at St Mary’s on Thursday evening. Here’s the line-up I’d like Mikel Arteta to select…

Bernd Leno has been ruled out for at least a month after suffering a knee injury against Brighton so Emi Martinez will start in goal and he should be keen to grasp his opportunity to impress.

In defence, I thought Rob Holding had a solid game so hopefully he keeps his place and I’d like to see him line-up alongside Sokratis – if the Greek international is passed fit. Sokratis has missed the last two matches with a thigh problem but is now back in full training so should be available to face Southampton.

Shkodran Mustafi will be the man to drop out but he’ll be an option from the bench as Pablo Mari has been ruled out for at least two months with an ankle injury, David Luiz is still suspended and Calum Chambers is still recovering from a serious knee injury.

I’d like to see Kieran Tierney returning at left-back with Sead Kolasinac making way while Hector Bellerin should keep his place at right-back for Arsenal despite a disappointing display at the Amex on Saturday.

Matteo Guendouzi showed once again why he’s not ready to be a first team regular after an immature performance at Brighton so I’d recall Granit Xhaka tomorrow. Xhaka missed the game at the weekend with a minor ankle injury but is back in full training so should be in contention to face Southampton.

Lucas Torreira is still two weeks away from returning from an ankle ligament injury so I’d stick with Dani Ceballos in midfield. The Spaniard has been inconsistent for Arsenal this season but he’s still a terrific player on his day.

granit xhaka arsenal

Ozil back

Mesut Ozil hasn’t featured since the restart but I hope Arteta gives him a recall tomorrow. We badly need some creativity in the side and it’s time Ozil started to earn some of his £350k-a-week wages.

Nicolas Pepe scored another lovely goal against Brighton and I hope he gets a run in the team now. He’s got bags of quality and just needs the confidence to push on and show what he can do on a regular basis.

Bukayo Saka put in an encouraging display in a more central position on Saturday but I’d still like to see him starting from the left wing which would free Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to play in his best position through the middle.

I’m sick of seeing Arsenal’s best goalscorer out wide and he has to start up front from now on. Alexandre Lacazette isn’t doing enough to warrant a starting spot and Eddie Nketiah is still a kid so play our best player in his best position!

Unfortunately, Gabriel Martinelli is facing months on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury in training but Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock are other options for Arsenal from the bench.

Here is how I hope Arsenal line-up:

football formations

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One Comment

  1. Stephan Larose

    June 25, 2020 at 5:16 am

    Xhaka is injured. This lineup isn’t actually possible unless Arteta is so stupid as to risk even more injuries to his squad.

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