Thursday, January 27, 2022

Martinelli, Odegaard And Tavares To Start | Predicted 4-4-1-1 Arsenal Lineup Vs Manchester United

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

Arsenal brace themselves for yet another stern test, as they take on Manchester United on Thursday. The Gunners have enjoyed an excellent renaissance under Mikel Arteta this season, but they are yet to prove themselves against top teams, notably stumbling to a 4-0 defeat to Liverpool in October. They will be keen on making a statement against a United team hoping to settle in under a new manager this midweek.

Predicted Arsenal Lineup Vs Manchester United

Defence

Mikel Arteta has no reason to tinker with his back four that has done so well lately, barring a 4-0 defeat to Liverpool. One of their standout players has been Aaron Ramsdale, who will be hoping to attain another clean sheet, this time against Manchester United.

In central defence, Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes have formed an excellent partnership. Their mobility and defensive work rate could be handy once again up against the Red Devils, although they would require the additional defensive aid of Takehiro Tomiyasu.

The Japanese international usually features as a right-back, but can effortlessly drift into a central role to help Arsenal shift to a three-man backline during an offensive stance. It allows more attacking freedom for left-back Nuno Tavares, who has done well to bench Kieran Tierney, although the Scot has struggled with injury problems.

Arsenal (Nuno Tavares)
BURNLEY, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 18: Nuno Tavares of Arsenal arrives at the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Burnley and Arsenal at Turf Moor on September 18, 2021 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
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Midfield

In midfield, Arteta could persist with his usual block of four that offers his side a lot more solidity in the second line of press. The combination of Thomas Partey and Albert Sambi Lokonga has served them well so far, although Ainsley Maitland-Niles is also pushing for a start.

Bukayo Saka, though, remains a doubt for this midweek encounter, having suffered a knock in the win over Newcastle United. His potential absence could see Gabriel Martinelli earning himself a rare start on the right flank, whereas Emile Smith Rowe remains a guaranteed starter on the opposite flank.

Attack

As for the attack, Arteta’s decision to deploy Matteo Odegaard ahead of Alexandre Lacazette in the number ten slot served him well against Newcastle United. As such, the Norwegian international is a favourite to continue operating just behind the main forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Odegaard’s ability to distribute the ball around can always become useful when probing the opposition. He can also release runners like Martinelli or Aubameyang with his balls in behind the opposition backline.

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