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[Image] Key duo out, Martinelli starts: My Arsenal line-up vs Fulham

By on April 17, 2021

gabriel martinelli 2019

Arsenal take on Fulham at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon. This is the team I’d like to see Mikel Arteta select for the match…

Obviously Bernd Leno should start in goal but it will be interesting to see how the boss lines-up in defence. Arteta has gone with a back four of Granit Xhaka, Pablo Mari, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers in the last two games and we’ve kept consecutive clean sheets. So it would be understandable if he stuck with the same four tomorrow.

However, I personally don’t see Xhaka as a viable long-term solution at left-back. His lack of pace and athleticism will cost Arsenal eventually. So I’d give Cedric Soares another run out against Fulham. I’d also like to see Hector Bellerin and Gabriel recalled. We need to keep players fresh and rotate the squad wisely over the coming weeks.

Xhaka should move back into midfield where he’ll be partnered by Thomas Partey. Arsenal’s big money summer signing needs a run of games to get back to full match fitness and we’ll start to see his best form consistently. Dani Ceballos should be the man to make way.

Bukayo Saka was superb on the right against Slavia Prague. I would understand if Arteta gives him a rest tomorrow but Arsenal just aren’t the same side without Saka so I’d start him again.

No Odegaard

Martin Odegaard is expected to miss out after he missed the Prague game with a niggling ankle injury so Emile Smith Rowe should start in the No.10 role after his excellent display in midweek.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang won’t be available tomorrow after it was confirmed he spent two days in hospital last week with malaria. Let’s hope he recovers quickly as we’re going to need Auba during the closing weeks of the season.

Alexandre Lacazette was superb on Thursday night so he should retain his place up front but I would make one change from the front four. Nicolas Pepe played well against Prague but I’d love to see Gabriel Martinelli given a start against Fulham.

This would be my Arsenal line-up:

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