Unai Emery is likely to start one of Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson on the left side of the Arsenal attack for the match against Manchester United on Monday.
Arsenal have also had a mixed bag of results. While their attack has bailed them out on multiple occasions, their flailing defence is a cause for worry, especially with Monday seeing them travel to Old Trafford to face a depleted Manchester United side. Unai Emery though, has roster issues of his own.
Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin all featured against Nottingham Forest during the midweek and are in contention to be in action on Monday. Emery was happy with the return of all three, which increases his options in defence.
“It’s amazing news. It was amazing to see the people’s reaction to Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin, who played his first 15 minutes [at the end]. It was a great moment. We can be a better competitive team with them. For us having every player available is the perfect moment,” Emery said in the pre-match conference.
Still, none of the aforementioned stars are likely to start against Manchester United, with Emery likely to go with David Luiz and Sokratis in central defence. Sead Kolasinac should start on the left. But, it is the right side that is giving the manager a headache.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles has returned after serving his suspension but finds his place under threat from Calum Chambers, who has impressed in the opportunities afforded so far. We believe Maitland-Niles should edge Chambers for the right-back spot, with Bernd Leno in goal for Arsenal.
In midfield, newly appointed captain Granit Xhaka should start and be accompanied by Matteo Guendouzi in the pivot. In what is expected to be a 4-2-3-1 setup, Dani Ceballos should start in the number 10 role, with Nicolas Pepe on the right. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a certain starter and will lead the Arsenal attack against Manchester United on Monday.
The left slot is another one that is being contested by two players. With Alexandre Lacazette and Emile Smith Rowe out, it is between Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson for the last spot in attack. Saka though, seems to have leapfrogged Nelson in the pecking order and should be the one to start on Monday.
Predicted Starting XI: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Pepe, Ceballos, Saka, Aubameyang