[Image] 18-year-old starts, Pepe dropped? – My Arsenal line-up vs Chelsea

By on July 31, 2020

bukayo saka arsenal

Arsenal take on Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday. Here’s the line-up I’d like Mikel Arteta to select…

Bernd Leno is due to resume full training next week but this game will come too soon so Emi Martinez will continue in goal and I have full confidence in the Argentinean stopper as he’s been terrific lately.

The defence is actually fairly straight forward as Shkdoran Mustafi has been ruled out until October with a hamstring injury and joins Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari on the sidelines.

Sokratis has barely played in five months so there’s no way he can start the final so Rob Holding should start along with David Luiz. Sead Kolasinac is an option but I think it’s clear Kieran Tierney should keep his place on the left side of the back three against Chelsea.

The wing-back positions are interesting ones. Hector Bellerin is back in contention after missing the win over Watford with a knock. Ainsley Maitland-Niles has put himself in contention after putting-in some impressive performances in recent games, particularly in the semi-final against City.

Maitland-Niles could play on either flank while Cedric Soares is an option on the right and Bukayo Saka can play on the left so Arteta has some choices to make. Personally, I’d go with Bellerin on the right and Saka on the left. The 18-year-old hasn’t been in top form in the past few games but we need to go with our best team against Chelsea.

nicolas pepe arsenal

Midfield is far more simple as Dani Ceballos will start alongside Granit Xhaka. Matteo Guendouzi won’t be involved as he looks to seal a move away from Arsenal but Lucas Torreira and Joe Willock will be options on the bench.

Obviously Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will start in the Arsenal attack and we’ll be relying on the Gabon hitman to provide our goal-threat. He’s been in terrific form lately so hopefully he can bang a few goals at Wembley.

Alexandre Lacazette should get the nod ahead of Eddie Nketiah up front. Laca hasn’t had his best season but he’s shown in the last few games that he’s still an important player for Arsenal.

The right wing is a tricky one. Nicolas Pepe has shown flashes of his ability throughout the season but can we rely on him in a final? It’s a risk as he’s just as capable of being totally anonymous as he is sticking one in the top corner.

Reiss Nelson is Arteta’s other option but he too has been plagued by inconsistent form this season and I don’t think he’s done enough to warrant a start. Therefore, I’d go with Pepe alongside Auba and Laca.

Sadly, Mesut Ozil won’t even be on the bench tomorrow. I’ve been calling for him to be in the squad just in-case we need a spark of creativity in the second half but Ozil is reportedly in Turkey and won’t be in the squad against Chelsea.

Here is how I hope Arsenal line-up:

football formations