Ozil starts as Emery makes 5 changes | Expected Arsenal line-up vs Southampton
Arsenal take on Southampton at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Unai Emery will select for the game:
Arsenal will be looking to keep the pressure on the top four with a win over Southampton at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Unai Emery will select for the game:
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech has kept goal for the past two Europa League matches but Bernd Leno is expected to be recalled for the league clash with Southampton this weekend.
Defence: Emery went with a back four on Thursday night and while BATE Borisov offered very little threat, I still thought we looked solid at the back so the boss may opt to stick with the same formation this weekend. Laurent Koscielny is a doubt after limping off with a calf injury last night so Sokratis is likely to be recalled to start alongside Shkodran Mustafi in the middle of defence.
Nacho Monreal was solid enough at left-back but he doesn’t pose the same threat going forward as Sead Kolasinac so the Bosnian international may come in to the side on Sunday. Ainsley Maitland-Niles is facing a late fitness test after missing the BATE game with a virus but Stephan Lichtsteiner was surprisingly good last night so he could keep his place at right-back.
Midfield: Arsenal dominated BATE in the Europa League game but I think Emery will still be tempted to freshen things up against the Saints with Lucas Torreira pushing for a recall in the middle of the park. Matteo Guendouzi has played well recently but he may be given a breather with Granit Xhaka keeping his place.
Attack: Emery went with three attackers behind one striker last night and we looked a bit more balanced so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Arsenal going with a 4-2-3-1 against Southampton on Sunday.
Mesut Ozil was back in the starting eleven last night and I thought he played well. We certainly looked more fluid in attack with him playing and he showed his class in patches so I hope we see the German playmaker get another chance this weekend. That means Aaron Ramsey is likely to miss out once again after being an unused substitute on Thursday night.
Alexandre Lacazette is back and should start up front after sitting out the BATE game due to suspension. It’s tough to leave Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of the side as he’s Arsenal’s top scorer but Emery may look to play him from a wider role on Sunday. Aubameyang spent a lot of time down the right wing against BATE so I wouldn’t be shocked to see him out wide against the Saints with Laca through the middle.
Alex Iwobi put-in another solid night’s work last time out so I think he’ll keep his place with Henrikh Mkhitaryan the man to make way. Denis Saurez is another option if Emery wants to freshen things up but I think he’ll be named on the bench.
Here is how I think we’ll see Arsenal line-up:
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