3. William Saliba vs Erling Haaland
There will be no Rob Holding in the Arsenal squad this time.
An extended injury absence saw William Saliba miss the Etihad visit in April and greatly hindered our momentum for the final weeks of last season, but now he is fully fit and ready to stop the league’s most lethal marksman.
Combined with our own keep-ball approach, Rodri’s layoff may result in lots of Gunners possession this weekend and thereby reduce Erling Haaland (as usual) to something of a peripheral figure.
However, the Norwegian has repeatedly shown that he does not need too many touches to find the net and a conversion rate of 29.14% last campaign (best across Europe’s top five leagues) indicates Saliba will have to be alert to keep him off the scoresheet (The Sporting News).
‘Wilo’ also acts as our main ball progressor from the backline and will need to somehow balance an unenviable defensive workload with important attacking duties, so his composure and recovery pace will be invaluable assets against a freakish goal machine.
This is arguably the toughest test for any Premier League side, and Arsenal could not call upon a better man to win it.