Saka & Partey out as Arteta makes 8 changes | Expected Arsenal line-up vs Newcastle
Arsenal take on Newcastle United at St James Park on Sunday afternoon. Here is the team Gooner Mac expects Mikel Arteta to select:
Arsenal are expected to field a weakened side when they take on Newcastle United at St James Park on Sunday afternoon. Here is the team Gooner Mac thinks Mikel Arteta will select:
Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno was at fault for the Everton goal last time out in the Premier League but he made a superb save to keep Arsenal in the game during the defeat to Villarreal last night. The German is expected to start at Newcastle but Arteta will pray he doesn’t get injured.
Defence: Kieran Tierney failed a late fitness test and wasn’t involved against Villarreal. The Scottish international may return to the squad this weekend but a place on the bench is probably the best he can realistically hope for.
Granit Xhaka could be moved back into midfield so Cedric Soares might get a run out at left-back for Arsenal while Hector Bellerin is expected to replace Calum Chambers at right-back.
Rob Holding and Pablo Mari were both poor during Arsenal’s defeat at Villarreal so I think Gabriel and David Luiz will get a chance to impress at St James Park on Sunday afternoon.
Midfield: Thomas Partey is expected to be rested ahead of the crucial Europa League semi final second leg next week so Xhaka is likely to take his place in the middle of the park.
Dani Ceballos will be suspended on Thursday after being sent off in the first leg so the Spaniard should retain his place at Newcastle. That means Mohamed Elneny may have to settle for a place on the Arsenal bench.
Martin Odegaard didn’t look fully fit against Villarreal so he might be protected ahead of the return leg at the Emirates so Emile Smith Rowe should start in the No.10 role on Sunday.
Attack: Arsenal played without a recognised striker on Thursday night and Arteta has suggested that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang isn’t fit enough to start yet after only playing a handful of minutes against Villarreal.
Alexandre Lacazette wasn’t even in the squad after failing to prove his fitness following a hamstring injury. The Frenchman might return to the bench at Newcastle but is unlikely to start so Eddie Nketiah could get a recall up front.
Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe are expected to be rested for the Villarreal game next week so Gabriel Martinalli and Willian could be recalled to start in attack against Newcastle.
Here is how I think we’ll see Arsenal line-up:
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