Arsenal v Leeds: How we should line up
Arsenal v Leeds is a huge game on the weekend. Having been unlucky in the game against United, robbed in the game against Wolves and just simply poor against Villa, Arsenal have seen just 1 point from the last 3 Premier League matches. That is a form which will have to change to get us finishing where we want to be in the league this season. From now on, we can’t really put a foot wrong. Leeds were all over us in the 0-0 draw at Elland road back in November, but we weren’t the same team at that point. This game will be a lot more end to end I’m sure; we just need to be on top form at the back and clinical with the chances we do create. 3 points is an absolute must or I think we can kiss any aspirations of top 6 goodbye. Here is how we should line up. Do you agree with my selections?
Leno: Maty Ryan came in and was a fantastic understudy for Leno, but having now served his suspension Leno will surely come back into the side. Despite his moment of madness against Wolves, he remains one of the league’s best goalies in my book and put in a masterclass last time out against Leeds
Bellerin: I thought Bellerin was okay against Villa. He will need to be defensively at his best in this one, though recent form suggests he will be.
Holding: He was poor against Villa, but overall has been one of our most dependable players this season. For me he has to start in this game, but I’d like to see him be a bit quicker with his distribution from out the back
Gabriel: Reports suggest Mari will be fit again, and whilst I wouldn’t mind seeing Mari back in the side, I would rather Gabriel. He has been shaky recently, but is the more mobile of the two centre backs. This will be important against such a fast moving attack like Leeds
Cedric: Reports suggest Tierney may well be available for this game, though I would not rush him back. He has clearly been struggling with some pain recently; if he worsens that injury and rules him out for longer for example the Benfica games, it will be tragic for us. Cedric was shocking against Villa, but overall has filled in well at LB. I would have him doing so for just one more game
Partey: Luckily, his injury against Villa is apparently nothing serious. He will need to be at his very best in this game. He will be crucial in sustaining our attacks and preventing the Leeds counter-attack
Ceballos: Next to Partey I’d go with Ceballos. Xhaka has been excellent recently, but last game taught us when a team presses us really high, we were struggling to play through the lines. I want someone next to Partey who will take the ball and turn, allowing us to beat the press far more effectively
Saka: First name on the team sheet right now. His directness and effectiveness will be crucial in the final third. He needs to get revenge on Alioski for his antics with Pepe early in the season
Smith Rowe: I honestly don’t care who plays between Odegaard and Smith Rowe. Smith Rowe suits an end to end game I think so I’ve chosen him. But Odegaard was effective off the bench against Villa and I think he deserves to start at some point soon
Pepe: I’m hoping Arteta has been getting Pepe’s head in the right place this week. He cost us dearly last time against Leeds with his red card. He needs to be pumped up and ready to make amends. He has been good recently off the left, and I can feel another goal coming for him in this game
Aubameyang: This will be quite a stretched game I believe. This will suit Aubameyang. It is a risk to drop Lacazette because he has been so good recently; he just seemed very tired against Villa. Aubameyang was starting to look like his usual self again before his family emergency. I pray this game he continues where he left off and scores a goal or two for us
Those are my selections, but what do you think? This needs to be 3 points for Arsenal or I can’t see us finishing very high in the league. Dropped points here and I think the focus needs to be entirely on the Europa League
Photo Credit: chosen11.com
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