Arsenal are set to host Manchester United in the Premier League on New Year’s Day. The Gunners have won just one of the last 12 league games and they are currently stranded in the 12th spot.
At present, there are 11 points behind the top four and anything less than a win over the Red Devils would surely end their prospects of attaining Champions League qualification through the league.
Predicted Arsenal Lineup:
Bernd Leno is expected to start in goal. He made a huge error which led to Chelsea equalising in the derby but that should not hamper his starting spot as he has been hugely consistent for most of the season.
The defence may see the single change from the weekend with Shkodran Mustafi replacing the injured Calum Chambers. Sokratis does not seem available at present due to the concussion protocols.
In the midfield, Granit Xhaka should return to the lineup after his illness. He will be expected to partner Lucas Torreira. Matteo Guendouzi should drop to the substitutes’ bench.
Further forward, the attack may remain the same as in the previous two games under manager Mikel Arteta. Gabriel Martinelli remains doubtful after just returning from a hamstring concern.
Nicolas Pepe could settle for a bench role, given he does not offer much on the defensive scheme of things when compared to Reiss Nelson, who has shown the eagerness to track back.
Alexandre Lacazette’s position remains under scrutiny but Arteta should continue to back him for the striker’s role, given he has got the best of Aubameyang from the left wing.
Aubameyang was hugely impressive with the defensive duties alongside his regular forward play against Chelsea and Arteta should demand more of the same from the club captain.
Predicted Arsenal lineup (4-2-3-1): Leno; Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Luiz, Saka; Xhaka, Torreira; Nelson, Ozil, Aubameyang; Lacazette