Arsenal are set to welcome Huddersfield Town to the Emirates on Saturday evening as the Gunners look to get back into the top four.
Arsenal will be aiming to return to winning ways when Huddersfield Town pay them a visit at the Emirates on Saturday. Unai Emery has insisted he was happy with his side’s 2-2 draw against Manchester United, but will be forced to ring in the changes when the Terriers coming visiting, due to injuries.
The big match against Manchester United saw Arsenal lose the services of Rob Holding for the rest of the season, with the defender rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee. Aaron Ramsey too, was withdrawn with an ankle injury and will likely be absent from the squad to face Huddersfield.
Granit Xhaka, however, is set to come to the side after serving a one-match ban for accumulating five yellow cards. Mesut Ozil is expected to return as well and feature for the first time in four games.
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However, one player whose much-anticipated return might just be delayed further is Laurent Koscielny. The Frenchman took part in an under-23 game for Arsenal, but Emery suggested in his pre-match press conference that the defender might play against Qarabag in the Europa League in the coming week.
“Maybe he can play against Qarabag in the Europa League. He’s working with us with very big performances every day in training. He’s playing for the under-23s with a good feeling. The next step is for him to be with us.”
The various injuries, and Holding’s in particular, will force Emery to revert to the 4-2-3-1 formation after a successful stint with a back three. The formation change could see both Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette return, with the latter playing a starring role off the bench on the last two games.
Bernd Leno came in for some criticism for some poor moments against Tottenham and Manchester United. However, there have been no suggestions that those criticisms could play a role in him being dropped and one can safely assume he continues in his position against Huddersfield.
Hector Bellerin is expected to be the right-back once again, while Sead Kolasinac should continue on the opposite flank. Holding’s injury means Emery will start Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi as his central defenders to complete the back four.
As iterated earlier, Xhaka is available after his suspension and should partner Lucas Torreira in the midfield pivot, meaning Matteo Guendouzi will have to settle for a place on the Arsenal bench. Meanwhile, Ramsey is a doubt while Ozil could be in contention on Saturday, both of which were confirmed by Emery in his presser.
“It’s [Ramsey’s] a different injury. It’s smaller than Rob’s. Today it’s very early because this morning we have been working, but with the players who didn’t play yesterday. Tomorrow we’ll train before the game on Saturday and that’s the moment you can know if the players will be OK or not for Saturday.”
“He [Ozil] had backache and now he’s working with the physio. We are going to look at when he can come back with us. This morning he worked with the physiotherapist on the pitch, running and touching the ball. Tomorrow will be the decision.”
Ozil’s return might place him straight away as Arsenal’s No. 10, supported by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan on either side, with Lacazette being the central striker.