Monday, June 27, 2022

Saka To Start | Predicted 4-2-3-1 Arsenal Lineup To Face Liverpool

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Pratyay Maitra
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Despite a disastrous start, Arsenal have scripted a sensational recovery under Mikel Arteta. They are back in the hunt for a place in next season’s Champions League, whereas a commanding Carabao Cup run has earned them a place in the semifinal defeating Sunderland in the previous round. But a tricky test awaits for the Gunners on Thursday night as they are set to host Liverpool in the first leg fixture.

Although the Reds grabbed a thumping 4-0 league win back in November, a galvanized Gunners would aim for revenge this time around amid injuries and covid crisis in the Liverpool camp. Few controversial decisions from Stuart Attwell denied them a result on New Year’s eve against Manchester City and the players, therefore, must secure a commanding victory this midweek to regain the momentum for the remainder of the campaign.

Predicted 4-2-3-1 Arsenal Lineup To Face Liverpool

Defence

Majestic Aaron Ramsdale has cemented a starting status between the sticks replacing Bernd Leno. But the latter might get the nod as he has featured in the previous rounds of this competition.

Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka in action against Liverpool
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 01: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City battles with Bukayo Saka of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on January 01, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

Arsenal have ample depth in the defensive third and should opt for Cédric Soares as the right fullback. Nuno Tavares might feature from the left and the gaffer should rely on Rob Holding alongside Ben White following Gabriel’s marching orders against the Citizens.

Midfield

The home side will be without Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny who have left for the Africa Cup of Nations. Ainsley Maitland-Niles might not be involved given the transfer rumours and the manager is likely to rely on the likes of Granit Xhaka and Albert Sambi Lokonga as the double pivot.

Apart from Partey and Elneny, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are also unavailable due to AFCON. Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli are expected to occupy the wide attacking roles, however, Emile Smith Rowe might return to the starting XI as the ‘number 10’ in place of Martin Ødegaard. The in-form Norwegian should be deployed at a later stage depending upon the situation.

Attack

Although the revival of Alexandre Lacazette has bolstered Arsenal high up the pitch, Eddie Nketiah should spearhead their attack following a hat-trick against Sunderland in the quarter-final outing. The young Englishman has exhibited his poaching traits inside the box, but the Gunners are destined to lose him for free as the centre-forward has decided not to extend his stay in North London beyond the ongoing term.

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