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Arsenal take on Manchester United this evening and for once Unai Emery seems to have some valid options at his disposal.
A number of young stars, as well as the likes of Kieran Tierney and Rob Holding, looked impressive in the 5-0 Carabao Cup victory over Nottingha Forest last week, meaning that there’s a number of players vying for a starting spot at Old Trafford.
The defence has been an area of concern so far this term, but it seems that changes could be afoot.
Tierney and Holding looked very comfortable against Forest last Tuesday and are expected to go straight into the team.
While Hector Bellerin made a cameo appearance against the Championship side, Unai Emery told our source on Tuesday that he expects that the the right-back will just miss out on the trip to face United.
Bellerin is still on the road to recovery after featuring for the under-23s on Friday night it’s likely that Chambers could be selected with one of David Luiz or Sokratis partnering Holding.
Emery similarly has plenty of contenders to choose from in midfield but the approach he took at home to Tottenham may be constructive of how he will lay out his team on Monday night. On that occasion he named a midfield trio of Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka and although he admitted that playing three more defensive-minded players left his attackers isolated it would not be a shock to see him turn to that trio again.
The alternative might be to name a midfield diamond, making room for Joe Willock and/or Dani Ceballos but considering the rather limited success that formation has had Emery may simply deem it wiser to stick to what he knows.
Two of Emery’s frontline picks themselves – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe – but it will be up to the Arsenal head coach to work out the best system in which to deploy them. It may well be the case that fielding youngster Bukayo Saka, so impressive in recent weeks, on the left is the best way to take the attack to this struggling Manchester United side.
Predicted Arsenal XI: Leno; Chambers, Holding, Sokratis, Tierney; Torreira, Xhaka, Guendouzi; Pepe, Aubameyang, Saka