The Process is alive and well. Five straight Premier League wins. Only one league loss since December 7th. 4th place with either a three-match or six-point advantage over their rivals. Martin Odegaard and Thomas Partey hitting the form everyone was hoping for when they arrived. It’s safe to say that it’s quite enjoyable at the moment for Arsenal fans. They finish a busy week with a visit by Liverpool and then a trip to 9th-place Aston Villa at the weekend.
Liverpool is currently on an eight-match win streak in the Premier League. They’ve only suffered one loss this calendar year across all competitions, 1-0 to Inter Milan in the Champions League, but still advanced thanks to a 2-0 win in the first leg. Mohamed Salah left their weekend match with an injury leaving his status for Wednesday in doubt. However, Liverpool has a surplus of attacking options so it won’t be surprising to see him held out of the trip to Arsenal.
The Gunners have struggled in the league against Liverpool recently losing the last three by a combined scoreline of 10-to-1. In fact, Arsenal have just two Premier League home results over Liverpool since 2013, 2-1 in the 2020 Project Restart summer schedule and 4-1 back in April 2015. Given Arsenal’s recent form and three matches in a week how much might Mikel Arteta gamble with his starting XI?
- Eddie Nketiah
- Bukayo Saka
- Gabriel Martinelli
- Albert Sambi Lokonga
- Mohamed Elneny
- Nuno Tavares
- Rob Holding
- Bernd Leno
- Left Out: Arthur Okonkwo.
- Out: No one.
- At the weekend I had the thought of rotating to focus on Leicester and Aston Villa. After seeing the match and recalling the upcoming international window I’ve adjusted that mindset. After these next two league matches Arsenal have a break until April 4th. Rotating in Tomiyasu, Pepe, and Smith Rowe shouldn’t see much of a change in the Gunners’ performance midweek and gives them a great chance to get through this week with a mouthwatering nine points.
- Up top, Mikel Arteta will and basically has to stick with Lacazette. While he did finally break his goal drought, it’s his all-around play that has become a key element to Arsenal’s recent surge. He may not be at the Emirates come next August, but Lacazette is a massive piece of the Gunners landing back in the Champions League.
- This bench gives Arteta the chance to sit a bit further against Liverpool in the first half and then bring on Saka and Martinelli to run at their backline for the last half hour.
- We thought Takehiro Tomiyasu was going to be in contention for Leicester and then he missed the squad completely. Was that because of a further setback or was he being held out to save for Liverpool? I’m hoping it's the latter and he is fully fit to help protect against Liverpool’s attack. Or perhaps the safer option is the continue on with Cedric who is on a good run and protect Tomiyasu until after the international break.
- Beyond the normal wear and tear, the starting XI from the Leicester City win appears to be fit. But I could see the likes of Rob Holding and/or Mohamed Elneny coming in to either give a core started a rest or in the case of Elneny switch to a more defensive setup.
How to watch
Wednesday (3/16) at 4:15 pm ET / 1:15 pm PT on Peacock Premium.
Arsenal - 1
Liverpool - 1