Unai Emery could ring in some essential changes to his team as Arsenal get set to face off against Cardiff City at the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday.
Arsenal limped their way to victory against West Ham last weekend and the manner in which they got their three points would not have convinced Unai Emery in any possible method that the team is cohesive enough to churn out wins consistently. That could prompt the Spaniard to ring some changes when the Gunners take the field against Cardiff City.
The Arsenal boss knows the importance of getting the momentum going after last weekend’s win and will want all three points against Cardiff who have been solid of late. However, in the first three games, Emery has built a reputation for himself by making strange but bold team selections, including picking 19-year-old midfielder, Matteo Guendouzi.
However, some changes can be expected for the game against Cardiff with some quarters suggesting starts for Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and new signing, Lucas Torreira. When asked about Torreira at the pre-game press conference, Emery expressed his delight at the progress that the Uruguayan has made since joining Arsenal.
“I am very happy with the player, and I think every player can play. They also are working very well every day and demanding me with their works, to start the games. I like this spirit and also the possibility to play for the first 11 is okay.”
Those words do not indicate a confirmation for a start, but the Uruguayan has done nothing wrong with his performances so far to not warrant a place in the starting lineup. Emery will also likely make late decisions on several other starters including the likes of striker Lacazette as well as the returning Ozil.
Petr Cech is again expected to be deployed in goal, as Bernd Leno’s wait for a start continues. Emery is likely to retain the defensive back-four of Hector Bellerin, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal. It is the midfield berths that have been the concern of some fans, and in those positions, Emery’s selections are still a mystery.
Torreira, as mentioned earlier, could start against Cardiff, and his partner in central midfield could be Granit Xhaka, who vastly improved in the last game against West Ham United. Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil seem to be the competitors for the No. 10 role, but Emery is set to start Ozil after last week’s absence.
The German would likely be partnered by Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on either side of attack. With Aubameyang on the left flank, it could mean a start for Alexandre Lacazette as Arsenal’s central striker, with Danny Welbeck, his deputy from the bench.