Arsenal will look to extend their winning run to three games in all competitions as they travel to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United on Monday. The Gunners have failed to beat Sheffield in their last four top-flight away games and will be keen on putting an end to that dismal record.
However, things could be tricky against a Sheffield United side, who have been one of the most resilient teams in the league this season. In fact, only table-toppers Liverpool have conceded fewer goals than the Blades so far, which is quite astonishing.
Arsenal’s Unai Emery will likely field a 4-2-3-1 with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leading the attack, even though Alexandre Lacazette is in contention to start. The Frenchman, however, may make a late appearance. The visitors will look to use their strength in midfield to dominate possession and craft scoring opportunities using the likes of Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pepe. They might also employ a left-sided overload, especially with Kieran Tierney tipped to make his Premier League debut.
Sheffield United, meanwhile, will look to salvage at least a point at home. Hence, we can expect the manager Chris Wilder to persist with a three-man backline. The two wing-backs in George Baldock and Enda Stevens are likely to operate in a deeper role but will have full license to march whenever needed. The primary objective will be to catch Arsenal during their build-up phase, using the aggression and tenacity of Callum Robinson and Oliver McBurnie.
As iterated earlier, Lacazette is in contention to start but will likely have to settle for a place on the bench. However, Reiss Nelson has been ruled out while Hector Bellerin is still unlikely to be risked at right-back. Mesut Ozil could once again start on the bench, paving the way for youngster Bukayo Saka to operate on the left flank.
Arsenal predicted lineup
Bernd Leno; Calum Chambers, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, David Luiz, Kieran Tierney; Matteo Guendouzi, Granit Xhaka; Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos, Bukayo Saka; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Oli McBurnie is a slight doubt heading into this fixture. The forward is struggling with a knee injury, but we expect him to feature against Arsenal on Monday. John Fleck has been a doubt too, but just like McBurnie, he is likely to feature in this encounter. Same can’t be said for David McGoldrick.
Sheffield United predicted lineup
Dean Henderson; Chris Basham, John Egan, Jack O’Connell; George Baldock, John Lundstram, Oliver Norwood, John Fleck, Enda Stevens; Callum Robinson, Oliver McBurnie.
The return of two key men in Aubameyang and Lacazette will undoubtedly serve as a massive boost for Arsenal. But, all eyes will be on Tierney, who as mentioned earlier, is expected to make his Premier League debut on Monday. The Scot has performed incredibly well in the Cup matches, and it will be interesting to see how he fares against Sheffield United. Fans should keep an eye on Saka as well.
Sheffield United have performed quite well in defence, which automatically makes the trio of Basham, Egan and O’Connell as ones to watch out for. They will look to minimise Arsenal’s penetration inside the box with their aggression and deprive them of any support whatsoever. McBurnie and Robinson could also play a key role as potential leaders of the Sheffield United attack.
Sheffield United win at 29/10
Draw at 14/5
Arsenal win at 19/20
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