Following a successful game in the week, the predicted Arsenal team to face Manchester United could see Eddie Nketiah rewarded with another start.
Despite a good campaign for the most part, the Gunners have seen a slip in form of late. Mikel Arteta’s side lost three Premier League games on the spin, all of which they would have hoped to have won.
Arsenal lost to Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton in successive games. None of those sides are anywhere close to the Gunners in the table.
However, Arteta’s side did not stay down for long. Arsenal bounced back with a fantastic performance in a 4-2 win against third-placed Chelsea in the week.
Nketiah has started each of the last two games, with Alexandre Lacazette reportedly still suffering from the effects of COVID. Nketiah thrived in the last game, bagging two goals – his only Premier League goals of the season.
Arteta praised the striker’s impact against Chelsea after the match, explaining how “humble” he is and “good things” happen because of that trait. The manager’s praise could point to another start, against United.
Last time out – Chelsea 2-4 Arsenal
Arteta opted for a five-at-the-back formation, given injuries to important defenders Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu. Although, Arsenal swapped with a back-four system to adapt to Chelsea’s formation changes.
Aaron Ramsdale started in goal, with a back three of regular centre-backs Gabriel Magalhaes and Ben White, split by fringe player Rob Holding.
Bukayo Saka – who scored a penalty – got forward well but also helped out significantly at right-wing back when required. The other wing-back position was filled by Nuno Tavares.
Granit Xhaka was partnered by Mohamed Elneny in the midfield, who played in the absence of injured man Thomas Partey.
Emile Smith Rowe – who scored with a deft finish – played alongside stand-in skipper Martin Odegaard behind the striker. The lone forward was Nketiah, who scored the first Premier League brace of his career.
Predicted Arsenal team against Man Utd
Given the attacking threat of United has not been as potent as Chelsea’s of late, Arteta may revert to a back four.
Ramsdale will remain in net. The two centre-backs could be the usual pairing of White and Gabriel. While Holding did not have a bad game against Chelsea, he would have to do a lot to displace one of these two.
Tomiyasu could return at right-back. Arteta revealed before the Chelsea game that the Japanese star was close to making the squad. And he said in his pre-match press conference ahead of United that if Tomiyasu trains today, he will be available.
Tavares will likely remain at left-back, though, as Tierney is still unavailable.
Elneny could remain in the side, to partner midfield constant Xhaka. Saka could be moved back to his usual position on the wing for more attacking threat, with Smith Rowe on the other side, and Odegaard between them.
Following his terrific performance last time out, Nketiah could retain his spot as the No.9.
Predicted Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tavares; Elneny, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Nketiah