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Only two changes needed, and not desperately

Leicester City presents a completely new challenge for Arsenal to overcome, but after Wolves, we really only need two changes, and not desperately.

Arsenal‘s lineup against Wolverhampton wasn’t perfect, but it was damn close. Together, the starting XI served as a comprehensive and convincing unit, without a single standout performer because everyone just did their jobs. Funny how good this team is when everyone just does their jobs.

As such, with yet another short turnaround before Leicester City, you could make the case that no changes are needed. And they really aren’t. But there are two swaps I would make just to further perfect what looked so close to perfect against Wolves.

First off, Sead Kolasinac should make way. While everyone did their jobs, Kolasinac put the club in several nervy situations as he continues to let runners in behind him—that doesn’t work when it’s Adama Traore getting in behind you. At least, that doesn’t usually work. It did here.

Rob Holding has proven himself all over again and has been unfairly left out lately in favor of Kolasinac. Perhaps that’s because Arteta is insistent in having a left-footed defender on that side, but Holding has played the role before.

Granted, not under Arteta.

Still, that change should happen. It’s better to have three centerbacks than two centerbacks and a leftback. Better solidity, better defensive instincts. Kolasinac was always a better attack anyway.

The only other change, and this one is needed even less, is Nicolas Pepe coming back for Bukayo Saka. Saka scored that crucial first goal against Wolves, but overall, he was pretty poor. That doesn’t merit being sat by any means. I would love to see Saka out there regardless. But Pepe has been so good and such a one-man wrecking ball that no one can keep him out of the starting XI.

It’s crazy to say, but other than Kolasinac, Saka was the only other weak link in the overall starting XI. It was the goal that propped up an otherwise poor performance, which is fine. Again, not criticizing. Everyone has matches like that.

I just know what Pepe is good for at least a goal, and we’re going to need firepower against Leicester City.

Next: 5 Things Learned Against Wolves

Neither one of these changes is particularly pressing. If we run out the same starting XI against Leicester City, I’ll be just fine. But these two changes should make us a smidgen better.

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