The past two matches have shown Arsenal’s ability to grind out results, as well as connect for beautiful team goals. With fourth place fully in their control, it’s all about team management and points this week. Wonderful football would be great, but the Gunners simply need to grind out wins against Leicester CIty and Aston Villa, and hope to take a point against Liverpool.
Arsenal has a good history lately against Leicester City, winning three, drawing once, and one loss. Leicester is coming off four straight wins but seems to be more focused on the Europa Conference League. Their place in the table is relatively safe with little chance of relegation or reaching the European positions through league play. Given Jamie Vardy’s absence and Arsenal’s relative squad fitness, this match sets up nicely for Arteta.
If you missed it, make sure to check out the Q&A for this match with SB Nation’s The Fosse Posse.
- Eddie Nketiah
- Emile Smith Rowe
- Albert Sambi Lokonga
- Mohamed Elneny
- Nuno Tavares
- Rob Holding
- Takehiro Tomiyasu
- Bernd Leno
- Left Out: Arthur Okonkwo.
- Out: No one.
- Given that Arsenal have three matches in seven days, Arteta will need to use more players than he has in recent weeks. While I don’t want to toss away the three points possible against Liverpool, getting wins at each weekend is far more likely and important. As such, I would opt to start what has been the primary starting group against Leicester and Aston Villa, then bring in a handful of subs against Liverpool, looking to pick up a point.
- Arteta noted that Tomiyasu is available for selection once again. However, given the three matches this week, I would start Cedric this weekend and look for Takehiro midweek against Liverpool. Cedric’s form should give Arsenal’s backline enough solidity to stop Leicester’s attack.
- Emile Smith Rowe returns from COVID protocols and should be back on the bench this week. Ideally, he can get 20-30 minutes in the second half as a sub. To then hopefully come in for Martinelli midweek against Liverpool.
- Pepe has looked dangerous since AFCON and will get a start this week, but which match makes the most sense? Once again, since getting three points on Sunday will be easier than against Liverpool, Arteta should stick with his primary attacking quartet. Giving Pepe a start against Liverpool works since three points will not be as expected.
How to watch
Sunday (3/13) at 12:30 am ET / 9:30 am PT on USA Network.
Arsenal - 2
Leicester City - 0