Ben White fit | How Arsenal should line-up vs Newcastle

By on May 16, 2022

ben white arsenal defender

Arsenal can reclaim fourth place with victory over Newcastle United at St James’ Park tonight. This is the line-up I’d like to see Mikel Arteta select for the match…

Obviously the big question mark surrounds the availability of Ben White and Gabriel as Rob Holding is suspended following his controversial sending off against Tottenham last week.

White was an unused substitute during the defeat to Spurs having missed Arsenal’s last four games, while Gabriel was forced off with a hamstring issue at White Hart Lane.

Arteta says the duo will be assessed before a final decision is made over their availability but given the importance of this game, I think it’s safe to say Arsenal will risk them if they are even close to being fit.

Therefore, I hope we see White and Gabriel starting in the middle of defence as that would allow Takehiro Tomiyasu to start at right-back. If either White or Gabriel are out, then Tomi will have to play in central defence. If both White and Gabi are out, we’re screwed and Granit Xhaka or Mo Elneny will have to dro back into defence.

I thought it was a mistake to start Cedric Soares on the right against Hueng-min Son on Thursday night. I hope Arteta doesn’t make the same mistake tonight as Cedric against Allan Saint-Maximin is a terrifying thought. I’d prefer we go with Tomi on the right and Nuno Tavares on the left.

In midfield, Martin Odegaard should start ahead of Xhaka and Elneny. Bukayo Saka will keep his place on the right wing while I’d stick with Gabriel Martinelli on the left. Arsenal need his energy in the final third so Emile Smith Rowe will remain on the bench.

Up front, Eddie Nketiah should lead the line again. His pace and movement has been important lately so Alexandre Lacazette should remain on the bench along with Nicolas Pepe.

The team below has a good chance of getting a vital three points at Newcastle tonight. If White/Gabriel are out, then I fear our top four chances will be over.

Here is the side I hope we see:

football formations