Arsenal are hoping to resume their Premier League campaign on a positive note when they lock horns with Leeds United at Elland Road on Sunday. It will be a must-win game for the Gunners, who are under pressure following yet another mediocre start to the campaign. Mikel Arteta’s men have appeared fairly solid at the back but have lacked attacking inspiration.
It could make things difficult against a high-scoring Leeds United side, who have netted the joint-highest number of goals in the bottom half of the Premier League table. On the flip side, however, the Whites have appeared quite sloppy at the back, notably conceding eight goals in their last two matches and are also desperate for at least a point in this encounter.
Leeds United Vs Arsenal Tactical Preview
Marcelo Bielsa is unlikely to shift away from his tried and tested 4-1-4-1 formation this weekend. His team will look to press the Gunners high up to the mark, looking to take full advantage of the vulnerable defensive players like David Luiz or Rob Holding. It won’t be surprising to see the home side dominating the possession early on.
Arteta is almost guaranteed to take advantage of Leeds’ high-press by playing a risky build-up game that could see the central defenders playing deep and close to the goalkeeper. So essentially, there will be an emphasis on creating chances from long balls out from the back, using the pace of players like Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to breach the opposing defence.
Leeds United are likely to be boosted by the return of Rodrigo Moreno this weekend after self-isolating himself due to Covid-19. Kalvin Phillips, however, still remains a doubt even though he was hopeful of a return earlier this week. His continued absence could once again pave the way for youngster Pascal Struijk to start in the holding midfield role.
Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas; Struijk; Costa, Klich, Rodrigo, Harrison; Bamford.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are missing out on the services of Sead Kolasinac and Mohamed Elneny while the likes of Gabriel Martinelli, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers remain out injured. New signing Thomas Partey is a doubt as well, after picking up a knock against Aston Villa. He is unlikely to start in this encounter.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Leno; Bellerin, David Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney; Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka; Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Following two awful performances against Leicester City and Crystal Palace, Leeds United will be hoping that their leading striker Patrick Bamford fires on all cylinders this weekend. The Englishman has netted seven goals this term, but he needs to make use of his opportunities against a strong Arsenal backline led by Gabriel Magalhaes.
Arsenal, on the other hand, could really use the services of Aubameyang. His pace and ability to make incisive runs in behind the backline could be useful against Leeds United’s relatively vulnerable defensive unit.