Arsenal host Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday, with Mikel Arteta facing an interesting team selection. Here is the predicted lineup.
This is a big one! Despite speculation earlier in the season about potential managerial changes at both Arsenal and Manchester United, the unpredictable nature of this campaign means that the footballing giants will meet as two of the Premier League’s most in-form teams in a high-stakes showdown at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening.
A 3-1 win away to Southampton on Tuesday night gave the Gunners their fifth away victory of the season, more than they managed in the whole of the last campaign, and provided a significant boost for an improbable, belated charge for a coveted Champions League spot.
In preparation for United’s visit, Mikel Arteta has been left sweating about the fitness of a number of important players, with Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe and David Luiz all picking up knocks during the week, while the possible return of Kieran Tierney compounds the manager’s selection headache.
Arsenal predicted lineup to face Manchester United in the Premier League
Manchester United’s shock defeat to Sheffield United on Wednesday may make Arsenal favourites going into this one, but Arteta’s side have already lost four home games this season, and they will be taking on a United side on course to set a new club record of 18 Premier League games unbeaten away from home.
Here is my predicted lineup for Saturday’s heavyweight clash.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Bernd Leno (GK) – The German shot-stopper has been excellent throughout this campaign, and he underlined his importance to the team with some fine saves at Southampton in midweek, with his sprawling effort to deny a late James Ward-Prowse free-kick being the pick of the bunch. A certain starter for the weekend.
Cédric Soares (RB) – Probably one of the most contentious decisions facing Arteta this week. Although Hector Bellerín has featured consistently this season and seems to be getting back to his best, Cédric has played a key role in recent wins and his fine form is making him increasingly hard to ignore.
Rob Holding (CB) – The former Bolton man has established himself as one of our most reliable performers, and he marked his 100th appearance for Arsenal on Tuesday with another solid defensive display. Despite competition for places at the back, Holding will likely retain his spot.
Gabriel Magalhaes (CB) – Gabriel has looked quite rusty as he recovers from his COVID-19 lay-off and was a little suspect defensively in our disappointing FA Cup fourth round exit.
However, the summer signing has been, overall, magnificent since his arrival and, with Pablo Marí expected to miss out and David Luiz not convincing lately, he should be reinstated on Saturday.
Kieran Tierney (LB) – Cédric’s commendable contributions at St. Mary’s meant that Tierney was not missed as much as we may have feared, but nevertheless the Scotsman should be recalled for this one if available.
His bounding runs and impressive end product add an extra dimension to our play, and having a natural left-footer at full-back again will increase our attacking fluidity.