Arsenal are looking to bounce back from their FA Cup exit against Manchester United with victory over Cardiff City in the Premier League on Tuesday.
Arsenal are now out of both cup competitions, but they’re still fighting on two important fronts. The Europa League trophy and a top-four league finish are both up for grabs, but Unai Emery’s side really need to step up their game to have any chance in either case.
Even with a game against Manchester City at the weekend, Arsenal need to start as strong as they can and get the three points against Cardiff first. Let’s have a look at our predicted Arsenal lineup for the match.
1Goalkeeper and Defence
Arsenal suffered three key injuries in two games, losing Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
There’s no chance Bellerin returns for a while yet, after he tore his cruciate ligament, and Koscielny appears to have suffered a broken jaw, so he’s out too. Sokratis could be back before long, but he’s still likely to miss out on this one.
As a result, with Rob Holding already missing, the only remaining senior centre-backs at the club are Shkodran Mustafi and Konstantinos Mavropanos.
Mavropanos hasn’t played senior football for a while, but he’s been back in training for a few weeks and started for the u23s last Monday. He should be ready for a first-team game now, and we expect him to make the lineup. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that Nacho Monreal, Granit Xhaka and Stephan Lichtsteiner can all fill in too.
At left-back, Sead Kolasinac is likely to keep his place, as the only fit member of Arsenal’s first-choice back four. On the right, Ainsley Maitland-Niles seems to be the preferred choice.
In goal, Bernd Leno will come in for Petr Cech, who wasn’t too impressive on Friday.
Click ‘Next’ for Midfield, Forwards and the full Predicted Starting XI