4-2-3-1: Torreira Starts, Fan Favourite Left Out | Expected Arsenal XI vs Newcastle
Arsenal take on Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon. Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Unai Emery will select
Arsenal will look to make it three wins in a row when they take on Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon. Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Unai Emery will select for the game:
Goalkeeper: Once again, Petr Cech looked uncomfortable with the ball at his feet during the win over Cardiff City last time out but I still don’t think Emery is going to bring in Bernd Leno just yet.
Defence: Defence continued to be an issue too as we allowed Cardiff to score twice and in truth they could have scored at least another goal or two during the 3-2 win, however, we can’t really improve upon the current personnel.
Laurent Koscielny has stepped up his rehabilitation from an Achilles injury by starting ball work but he still isn’t due back until November while Sead Kolasinac is out until next month with a knee injury.
There have been calls for Stephan Lichtsteiner to come in at right-back but I think Hector Bellerin will keep his place and he should once again line-up alongside Nacho Monreal, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis in the back four.
Midfield: However, we could see a change in midfield as Lucas Torreira is pushing to make his full debut after making another impressive appearance off the bench at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Torreira picked up a minor calf issue while away with Uruguay last week but he’s trained fully since returning to Arsenal and is available for selection so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start against Newcastle this weekend.
Matteo Guendouzi is the man most likely to make way as although the young Frenchman has become a real fan favourite following his impressive start to life in England, he’s not ready to play week-in, week-out just yet so Torreira should come in on Saturday.
Granit Xhaka continues to split opinion among the fans as while he’s so important to our build-up play, he is a liability when we’re not in possession. However, I think we’ll see him keep his place at the heart of midfield this weekend.
Attack: Aaron Ramsey was deployed in the advanced central midfield role against West Ham and Cardiff before the international break so we could see the Welshman keep his place on Saturday.
Mesut Ozil started out on the wing at Cardiff and he’s enjoyed some rest during the international break after retiring from international duty so I expect him to keep his place ahead of Henrikh Mkhitaryan in attack.
Emery finally started Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette together against Cardiff and it paid off as they were both on the score-sheet. Aubameyang is comfortable on the wing and Lacazette proved his worth with a superb winner so I see no reason why they both shouldn’t keep their places.
Alex Iwobi missed the Cardiff game through illness but he’s fully recovered and should take his place on the bench alongside the likes of Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny.
Here is how I think we’ll see Arsenal line-up:
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