Aubameyang out as Arteta makes 9 changes | Expected Arsenal line-up vs Portsmouth
Arsenal take on Portsmouth in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Monday night. Here is the team Gooner Mac expects Mikel Arteta to select:
Arsenal travel to Fratton Park to take on Portsmouth in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Monday night. Here is the team Gooner Mac expects Mikel Arteta to select:
Goalkeeper: Arsenal No.1 Bernd Leno played in the Europa League defeat to Olympiacos on Thursday night so Emi Martinez is expected to be recalled between the sticks tomorrow.
Defence: Despite crashing out of Europe, Arteta is still being tipped to field a weakened side at Portsmouth so we should see plenty of changes in defence with Hector Bellerin among those rested. Ainsley Maitland-Niles is in-line for a recall at right-back.
David Luiz was poor against Olympiacos so I expect him and Shkodran Mustafi to make way tomorrow night with Sokratis recalled. Pablo Mari is pushing to make his debut but Rob Holding is another option for Arteta and I think the Englishman will get the nod alongside Sokratis with Mari on the bench.
Sead Kolasinac has been ruled out after suffering a shoulder injury during Arsenal’s win over Everton last weekend. Kieran Tierney is back in full training as he looks to return from a dislocated shoulder but this game will come too soon so I expect Bukayo Saka to continue at left-back.
Midfield: Lucas Torreira is expected to be recalled in midfield after failing to start any of Arsenal’s previous three games. Granit Xhaka is likely to be given a breather as he’s played a lot of football lately.
Matteo Guendouzi will be hoping to feature after falling out of favour under Arteta but I think Dani Ceballos may keep his place in the middle of the park as he’s been impressive since returning to the fold in recent weeks.
Mesut Ozil was disappointing against Olympiacos and I expect the German playmaker to be rested for the trip to Portsmouth so Joe Willock could be set for a recall in the attacking midfield position.
Attack: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the hero and the villain in midweek but there is no doubt he’s carried this Arsenal team for much of the season. Arteta may want to throw him straight back into action following his horror miss against Olympiacos but it’s probably more sensible to give him a rest.
Alexandre Lacazette could also drop out after a frustrating night in the Europa League so Eddie Nketiah may lead the line up front and the youngster will be looking to build on the goal he scored against Everton last weekend.
Gabriel Martinelli should come in on the left wing while Reiss Nelson could replace Nicolas Pepe on the right if Arteta wants to freshen things up even further in attack.
Here is how I think we’ll see Arsenal line-up:
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