Arsenal manager Unai Emery is unlikely to make a lot of changes for his team’s FA Cup tie against Manchester United on Friday night.
Arsenal will be looking to progress further in the FA Cup, when they go head-to-head against bitter rivals Manchester United in the fourth round of the competition at the Emirates Stadium on Friday.
The Gunners made it to this stage of the competition after beating lower league side Blackpool 0-3 away from home and will be buoyed by their 2-0 victory against Chelsea this past weekend in the Premier League.
The former Sevilla and PSG boss had fielded a much-changed team featuring a number of fringe players in the previous round against Blackpool, but is expected to go in with his full-strength team against Manchester United on Friday.
There will be the customary change in goal, however, with Petr Cech set to start in place of Bernd Leno for the cup competition. Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Laurent Koscielny are set to continue as the centre-back pairing for the Gunners, with the latter impressing in recent matches.
“In the last matches, I think we are looking at a Koscielny with a big performance like he is used to producing. I think in the last two matches, at West Ham and against Chelsea, I think this year and after his injuries, they are the performances we want,” Emery said of the Arsenal captain in his pre-match presser.
Emery will be forced into making one change in defence, however, with Hector Bellerin being ruled out for the season, after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament against Chelsea.
“Hector Bellerin is very mature and I think he received this injury like a football professional can take and he is already preparing to come back stronger than before,” the manager said.
In Bellerin’s absence, Ainsley Maitland-Niles is expected to slot in at right-back ahead of Stephan Lichtsteiner, while Sead Kolasinac is expected to feature at left-back against the Red Devils, despite Nacho Monreal returning to full fitness.
The Arsenal manager fielded a midfield diamond in the win against Chelsea, which worked wonderfully. And. he is unlikely to tinker with that on Friday night, with Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira all expected to hold on to their spots.
At the tip of the midfield, Arsenal are likely to go in with Aaron Ramsey once again, after his impressive performance against the Blues, which would mean German playmaker Mesut Ozil will be warming the benches once again.
Former Manchester United players Danny Welbeck and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are both unavailable for Arsenal with injuries. Youngster Joe Willock could be involved, having scored a brace in the last round against Blackpool. However, the dangerous Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are expected to pair up in attack for the North Londoners.