[Image] Saka & Martinelli start in 4-2-3-1: My Arsenal line-up vs Slavia Prague

By on April 8, 2021

gabriel martinelli 2019

Arsenal take on Slavia Prague in the first leg of our Europa League quarter final at the Emirates tonight. This is the team I’d like to see Mikel Arteta select for the match…

Obviously Bernd Leno will keep his place. The German goalkeeper has shipped six goals in his last two games but that’s not been down to his poor form so he’ll retain the gloves.

Arsenal have to improve defensively but we’ve been dealt a major blow with the news that Kieran Tierney has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a knee injury. Cedric Soares is an option but we lose our attacking threat when he plays at left-back. For that reason, I think Bukayo Saka should start tonight. He’s fit after recovering from a thigh injury so I’d go with Saka at left-back.

David Luiz is also facing a spell on the sidelines following a minor knee operation. Gabriel and Rob Holding were poor against Liverpool but they’re probably still the best pairing we’ve got. Hector Bellerin should start on the right side of defence with Calum Chambers missing out.

In midfield, Granit Xhaka should return after missing Arsenal’s defeat to Liverpool through illness. Xhaka should line-up alongside Thomas Partey this evening meaning Dani Ceballos will drop to the bench.

Martin Odegaard should keep his place in the attacking midfield role while I hope we see Emile Smith Rowe returning in attack after he recovered from a knock. We missed his energy against Liverpool so his return will be a big boost.

With Saka at left-back, there is an opening in attack. Arteta would no doubt opt for Nicolas Pepe or Willian but I’d love to see Gabriel Martinelli given a chance. Things clearly aren’t working in the final third so let’s give Martinelli an opportunity.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continues to blow hot and cold but I still think he’s our best striker so he should start through the middle with Alexandre Lacazette dropping to the bench.

This would be my Arsenal line-up:

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