Arsenal has a quick turnaround to meet Wolverhampton on Saturday, but with so much at stake, here is how Mikel Arteta will likely line up.
You can’t even blink between Premier League matches these days, and I love it. I’m still busy talking about Arsenal‘s last match when I realize that their next match is only a day away and I need to get it into gear and starting talking about that.
Next up is Wolverhampton, who sit two places and six points up on the Gunners. It’s going to be a very similar situation when Arsenal face Leicester City the following Tuesday. These are two matches that could define our season. Win them both and we will be within striking distance of two teams above us, but lose a single one and our chances of qualifying for a European Cup spot are pretty much shattered.
So needless to say, this has to be taken seriously. And if you look at how Arteta lined up the troops against Norwich, we can get a good indication of what he will be looking to do in this next match. Some key guys got to rest their legs while the team thumped the Canaries.
But there are still injuries to consider. Mesut Ozil remains MIA and, while he might be back “in contention” to play, likely won’t see his return to the starting XI here. Especially seeing as how Arteta has taken a liking to the 3-4-3 formation, which has nowhere to hide the German playmaker.
The rest of the injuries won’t come as surprises—Leno, Mari, Martinelli, and Chambers are all still out. But Lucas Torreira should be back in the mix, David Luiz is healthy again, Sokratis is even poking his head up from time to time.
So Arteta has a full swatch of players to choose from and it’s going to be hard deciding on a few key positions.
For now, though, let’s dig into the predicted starting XI, starting at the back where we always do.
With Leno still injured, the job rests in the capable hands of Emi Martinez. I’m no longer nervous about this, either. Martinez is a quality keeper.
Centerbacks coming up next.