New signings to make debut, Ozil ruled out | Expected Arsenal line-up vs Newcastle
Arsenal take on Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon. Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Unai Emery will select for the game:
Arsenal will look to make a winning start to the new Premier League season when they take on Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon.
Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Unai Emery will select for the game:
Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno made the number one shirt his own last season and with Petr Cech retired the German is certain to be our first choice keeper this campaign. Emi Martinez has been promoted to number two so will be Leno’s back-up.
Defence: Arsenal completed a shock swoop to sign David Luiz on deadline day and the Brazilian international is expected to come straight into the starting eleven this weekend. Luiz will replace Laurent Koscielny alongside Sokratis after the Frenchman joined Bordeaux this summer.
Calum Chambers is an option from the bench but Rob Holding isn’t expected to be involved as he’s not match fit yet following a serious knee injury. It will be interesting to see whether Shkodran Mustafi is in the squad amid reports he’ll move abroad over the coming weeks.
Hector Bellerin is still nursing his knee ligament injury so Ainsley Maitland-Niles should keep his place at right-back. New signing Kieran Tierney has been ruled out for at least 4 weeks with a groin injury so he won’t be making his debut any time soon.
Unfortunately Sead Kolasinac won’t travel to Newcastle after the club confirmed he’s been involved in fresh ‘security incidents’ so Nacho Monreal will start at left-back.
Midfield: Granit Xhaka is expected to captain the side on Sunday so he’ll start in midfield while Matteo Guendouzi is favourite to start ahead of Lucas Torreira as the Frenchman has had more game-time in pre-season to get up to speed.
Summer signing Dani Ceballos could be in-line to make his competitive debut after completing a season-long loan move from Real Madrid but obviously there is no Aaron Ramsey after he joined Juventus on a free transfer.
Attack: Arsenal have confirmed that Mesut Ozil also won’t be involved against Newcastle as he’s been targetted by robbers yet again after an attempted car jacking last month.
Nicolas Pepe will be assessed ahead of the game as he’s only had a few days pre-season training following his exploits at the African Cup of Nations but Emery’s hinted he won’t start anyone who isn’t 100% so a place on the bench is the best Pepe can hope for.
Therefore, Henrikh Mkhitaryan could start on the right side of attack on Sunday. Reiss Nelson is pushing to start after impressing in pre-season but I think he’ll be named on the bench against Newcastle.
Alexandre Lacazette is facing a late fitness check on an ankle injury that he sustained at the Emirates Cup last month but the Frenchman is expected to be passed fit to travel.
Assuming Laca can start, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is likely to start from the left side of attack. If Lacazette is only fit for the bench, then Aubameyang will lead the line up front and Nelson could come in.
Here is how I think we’ll see Arsenal line-up:
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