[Image] Key trio return, no Xhaka or Lacazette: My Arsenal line-up vs Newcastle

By on January 18, 2021

Thomas partey

Arsenal take on Newcastle United at the Emirates this evening. This is the team I’d like to see Mikel Arteta select for the match…

Bernd Leno will keep his place in goal but, despite keeping a clean sheet against Crystal Palace, I hope we see a couple of changes in defence and the most obvious is the return of Kieran Tierney. He was badly missed last Thursday but he’s recovered from his minor muscle issue and has been passed fit to return so we should see him replacing Ainsley Maitland-Niles at left-back.

I’d also like to see Gabriel back in the side. He was an unused substitute against Palace but he’s built up his fitness over the past few days and should start tonight as let’s not forget how important he was for Arsenal before his absence due to covid. I’d keep Rob Holding in the side and drop David Luiz while Hector Bellerin should keep his place at right-back.

Thomas Partey made his return with a second half appearance against Palace so hopefully he’s recalled to start this evening. No doubt Arteta will stick with Granit Xhaka but I’d prefer to see him dropped with Dani Ceballos alongside Partey. I feel they’d have a better chemistry and balance.

It will be interesting to see how Arsenal line-up in attack as Arteta has to mix things up following the toothless performance against Palace. The one change I’d certainly like to see is Gabriel Martinelli being recalled as he’s fit after recovering from a minor ankle problem.

I’d go with Martinelli and Bukayo Saka on the wings with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang through the middle. I feel they are our best front three. That means Alexandre Lacazette would miss out but he’d be a useful option from the bench.

Emile Smith Rowe was poor against Palace but we don’t exactly have an abundance of options for the No.10 role so I’d stick with the youngster tonight. Nicolas Pepe, Willian and Eddie Nketiah would all be on the bench if needed.

This would be my line-up:

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