David Luiz is poised to make his return to the starting lineup as Arsenal face Sheffield United in the FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday.
Mikel Arteta could ring in the changes when Arsenal travel to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United in the FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday. The Gunners will be aiming to advance to the semi-finals as Arteta, who has already won the competition during his playing career, seeks to get his hands on the prize as a manager as well.
However, Arsenal will also have one eye on the important Premier League fixture against Norwich City next week. Hence, we could see some changes being made to the side that won 2-0 against Southampton in midweek.
The Spaniard, in his online press conference, has already reiterated the fact that he has full confidence in young players, stating, “We have some great young players who have been playing probably more than they should have been doing but they are showing great maturity and the personalities to play in difficult moments which is great for their experience”
Our medical team have given us the latest on our squad ahead of Sunday's #EmiratesFACup quarter-final 🗞
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) June 26, 2020
Therefore, we are expected to see some changes. In fact, Arteta could even shift to a three-man backline in order to mirror Sheffield United’s 3-5-2.
And with David Luiz back from suspension, we expect the Brazilian to make his return to the squad, forming the back-three alongside Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding. Fresh from signing a contract extension at Arsenal, it will be interesting to see how the defender copes with the massive criticism he has received recently.
Nonetheless, Arsenal reverting to a three-man backline also means that Arteta can utilise Ainsley Maitland-Niles, at the expense of Hector Bellerin at right-wing back. New signing Cedric Soares is nearing his return to full fitness but is unlikely to be fit for this fixture.
Meanwhile, Kieran Tierney is available after picking up a cramp in the last game. However, he, as well as Sead Kolasinac might have to settle for a place on the bench, with Bukayo Saka likely to operate on the left flank.
In midfield, Arsenal have Lucas Torreira out injured while Granit Xhaka is likely to be given a breather. Even Dani Ceballos might be given a rest, thus paving the way for Matteo Guendouzi and Joe Willock to form the double pivot.
Guendouzi, in particular, has been linked with a move away from Emirates. Arteta also remained coy about his current situation during the press conference, claiming he is “never going to make any of that public”. In any case, this could be an excellent opportunity for the Frenchman to showcase his talents.
Meanwhile, there is a chance that Mesut Ozil may feature against Sheffield United, but only as a substitute as the German is yet to feature in a single game since the restart. Reiss Nelson should start in his absence, in the right wing slot.
And finally, the Arsenal attack should be spearheaded by Alexandre Lacazette, who was benched against Southampton. He is set to receive additional support from the wide duo of Nelson and Eddie Nketiah, who retains his place in the side at the expense of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Predicted Arsenal XI: Martinez; Mustafi, Luiz, Holding; Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Willock, Saka; Nelson, Lacazette, Nketiah