Arsenal face Leeds United on Sunday hoping to bounce back to winning ways following a 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa. The Gunners are dawdling in mid-table once again following an underwhelming start to the campaign, so securing all three points could be imperative this weekend.
In this article, we will talk about three things Mikel Arteta must do to ensure a win over Leeds United on Sunday.
Deploy Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang As A Centre Forward
Arsenal are yet to impress going forward this season, primarily due to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s lack of form. The ex-Dortmund forward has struggled in the left-wing role, having scored just two goals so far this campaign.
However, on Sunday, the Gabonese international will have an excellent opportunity to rekindle his form against a Leeds United backline that has conceded more goals than any other teams in the league. Arteta could also use this opportunity to deploy Aubameyang in a more central role, at the expense of Alexandre Lacazette.
The Frenchman has missed numerous chances throughout the course of the campaign, with Aubameyang being a much better outlet. Deploying him as a centre-forward should also allow Arsenal to use Bukayo Saka in a more offensive role, ultimately providing more stability into the team.
A Three-Man Backline
Arteta has shifted to a back-four in recent weeks, putting an end to the three-man backline which he had used for the majority of his spell at Emirates.
That said, employing a back-four could be a risk against Leeds United, who have a strong first line of press and are known for their aggression. It essentially means that Arteta is going to rely on deep build-up play in order to attract the press and rely on long-passes to feed their own attackers on the counter.
A three-man backline is much more appropriate, in that regard, as it will offer them an additional passing option at the back. But more importantly, it could be effective in the defensive phases as well while demanding less athleticism from the centre-backs, which could be useful as players like Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin are coming from a hectic international break.
Rob Holding Ahead Of David Luiz
Making the right personnel changes could be critical if Arsenal are to get the better of Leeds United this weekend. That is where Arteta might fancy starting Rob Holding ahead of David Luiz in central defence and for good reasons as well.
The Whites are missing out on the services of creator-in-chief Pablo Hernandez while Rodrigo Moreno is also unlikely to start. It might force them to rely more on the two wide attackers in Helder Costa and Jack Harrison who primarily like to whip in crosses into the box. They are also quite dynamic in possession.
Holding, therefore, is a much better fit due to the Englishman’s physical and aerial prowess. His no-nonsense style of play should help Arsenal keep tabs on Patrick Bamford as the Gunners hope to preserve a clean sheet this weekend.