Arsenal face Manchester United on Wednesday, looking to get their first win under new head coach Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal slipped to defeat against Chelsea over the weekend, despite leading their opponents for 70 minutes of the match. The result pretty much ended any lingering hopes of a top-four finish, but the team have to regroup quickly to face Manchester United.
Even if there isn’t as much to play for now, Arsenal will still want a confidence-boosting result at home to another big-six club.
Let’s have a look at our predicted Arsenal team for the Manchester United fixture.
Bernd Leno finally made a mistake at the weekend, but that won’t keep him out. The goalkeeper has been excellent this season and needs his head coach’s backing now. Emi Martinez will remain on the bench.
Arsenal’s full-backs looked dead in the water by the end of the Chelsea game, but Arteta needs one more 90 minutes out of them. Hector Bellerin still isn’t back, Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac won’t return for a while.
Arteta can rotate using academy players or players out of position against Leeds, but he needs Bukayo Saka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles again on Wednesday.
At centre-back, it depends if Sokratis Papastathopoulos is back from his concussion. If he is, he’ll start alongside David Luiz. If he isn’t, Rob Holding may well make his comeback, after featuring in full training ahead of the Chelsea game.
Lucas Torreira did a great job against Chelsea, but he’s now on the back of four consecutive starts, playing 90 minutes three times in nine days. It might be time to rest him, with Dani Ceballos returning from injury to replace him.
Mesut Özil and Granit Xhaka have to start, assuming they’re both available. Matteo Guendouzi will drop out for the Swiss international. Joe Willock and Emile Smith Rowe are likely to make the bench.
It looks like it’s just going to be the same front three once again, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Reiss Nelson. Lacazette really isn’t showing much to prove he deserves a spot right now, but it seems neither is Nicolas Pepe in training.
Aubameyang and Nelson both played very well against Chelsea. Gabriel Martinelli is a doubt with his hamstring concern.