Arsenal will look to continue their winning momentum when they lock horns with Standard Liege in a crucial Europa League fixture on Thursday. Both teams will be aiming to secure a place in the knockout rounds of the competition, though the Gunners only need to secure a draw to do so. The Premier League side are coming on the back of a 3-1 win over West Ham, which was Freddie Ljungberg’s first win after taking in charge as the interim boss of Arsenal.
Here is how Ljungberg’s men may line up this midweek.
Ljungberg will be dealt with a dilemma in the defensive department this week. Both Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney suffered injuries on Monday and have been ruled out for the time being.
Bellerin will likely be deputised by Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who also started on Monday. He will operate as the right-back. But, there could be problems on the opposite flanks, with Tierney out while Sead Kolasinac is not fully fit. The Bosnian may still be forced into the starting eleven due to the lack of options at left-back.
In central defence, David Luiz could make his return after deservedly being dropped from the starting lineup. He could partner Sokratis Papastathopoulos at the heart of Arsenal’s four-man backline. It will be interesting to see if the duo can up their game, especially with Calum Chambers pushing for a spot.
And finally, Bernd Leno will make way for Emiliano Martinez. The Argentine will need to remain sharp against this Standard Liege attack.
In midfield, Ljungberg could make a couple of drastic changes, with Matteo Guendouzi and Joe Willock coming in. Granit Xhaka, meanwhile, is expected to retain his place in the starting lineup. The Swiss has played well in recent weeks.
Hence, it will be interesting to see whether or not these two can add more competition by putting in solid displays in midweek. Guendouzi, in particular, is expected to play a key role and the youngster must perform, having been overlooked in favour of Torreira, of late.
Mesut Ozil is destined to be given a breather, paving the way for Bukayo Saka to start at right-wing, with Gabriel Martinelli starting on the opposite flank.
The Arsenal attack could be led by Alexandre Lacazette, who was left out on the bench in the last game. The Frenchman will thus have a point to prove this week.
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