Travelling to Old Trafford for a big game against Manchester United, let’s take a look at our Arsenal predicted lineup for Thursday.
The defeat to Liverpool was certainly disappointing, but it wasn’t hugely unexpected.
Everyone knows that Liverpool, Manchester City, and Chelsea are some way ahead of the rest of the league right now, so you need more than a bit of luck to beat them.
Either side of that game, Arsenal have been winning matches against teams they really do need to beat to stay in contention for top four. Playing the likes of Watford or Newcastle United at home absolutely has to result in all three points.
So the real test of where Arsenal are comes in the form of a trip to Manchester United.
This isn’t a game Mikel Arteta’s side is guaranteed to lose, but nor is it one they’re expected to win. The performance and result will tell us something about the team.
Here’s our Arsenal predicted lineup to face Manchester United.
It’s going to be Aaron Ramsdale, barring injury. He added his sixth clean sheet in 10 Premier League games at the weekend, following a strong performance at Anfield despite the heavy defeat. Bernd Leno should be on the bench as usual.
Takehiro Tomiyasu, Gabriel Magalhaes, and Ben White should all start. The big question is whether Arteta sticks with Nuno Tavares, or if he switches to Kieran Tierney.
Tavares has now played five league matches in a row, despite Tierney being available for the last three. Arteta stuck with him despite his mistake against Liverpool, and the summer signing rewarded that decision with an assist against Newcastle.
But Tierney is probably a better fit for the bigger games right now, and with three games in just over a week, it’s not a bad idea to rotate between the two from a fitness perspective.
Thomas Partey and Albert Sambi Lokonga are another pair that seem extremely likely to keep their places for the game in Manchester.
Like Tavares, Lokonga didn’t have his best game against Liverpool, but he really bounced back in the win over Newcastle.
Emile Smith Rowe will probably start on the left, but Arsenal will be left sweating on Bukayo Saka’s injury status.
Given the tight turnaround, Arteta may need to look elsewhere for his wide option on the right. Gabriel Martinelli’s goal may have earned him the chance to make a start. Nicolas Pepe is also available, and we wouldn’t completely rule him out either.
Even though they haven’t been in the best goalscoring form lately, it seems pretty likely Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette start this one.
Once again, it’s an experience thing, as the two of them have been here before and know this kind of game well.
Martin Odegaard and Lacazette are probably neck-and-neck in terms of their chances of starting games right now, so like with Tavares and Tierney, it may just come down to fitness rotation.