[Image] How Arsenal should line-up vs Chelsea

By on April 20, 2022

Rob Holding arsenal 2019

Arsenal desperately need to come away with a positive result when we take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tonight. This is the line-up I’d like to see Mikel Arteta select for the match…

After three hugely disappointing defeats, the main aim for tonight is to stop the rot and avoid another loss. A draw wouldn’t be a terrible result, but obviously the hope is Arsenal can nick all three points.

Arteta will continue to be without Kieran Tierney so left-back is a big problem for Arsenal. Takehiro Tomiyasu could return to the squad after taking part in full training recently. However, he’s been out for nearly 3 months so it’s not realistic for him to start against Chelsea.

To compound matters, Thomas Partey is ruled out with a thigh injury. The absence of Tomiyasu, Tierney and Partey at the same time has been hugely damaging for Arsenal, especially given the system we play.

Arteta likes one of his full-backs to tuck in to make a back three while the other is free to attack. When Tomi was fit, Tierney was allowed to bomb forward as the Japanese international tucked in alongside Ben White and Gabriel. When Tomi got injured, it was Tierney who made a back three with Cedric Soares given freedom to go forward.

With both Tierney and Tomi out, Arsenal have been left with two attack-mined full-backs in Cedric and Nuno Tavares – which has caused real problems. The absence of Partey to protect the defence has left us even more exposed.

emile smith rowe arsenal

I think the answer could be to bring Rob Holding in alongside Gabriel and move White to right-back. He would then be the defensive player to make-up the back-three which would allow Tavares more freedom – thus re-balancing Arteta’s system. We’re asking a lot of Lokonga to replace Partey, but that’s the best option we have right now.

In attack, Alexandre Lacazette may return but Arteta has suggested he might not be fit enough to start. Either way, I’d like to see Emile Smith Rowe or Gabriel Martinelli play in the false 9 position for Arsenal. We need 11 players to work hard for the team against Chelsea and Laca’s form has dropped off a cliff lately.

A more fluid front three of Martinelli, Saka and Smith Rowe can interchange throughout the game and keep Chelsea’s defence guessing. Nicolas Pepe would be an option from the bench along with Laca and Nketiah.

Here is the side I hope we see:

football formations