Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ought to return to the starting lineup when Arsenal take on Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday.
Arsenal will be looking to book their place in the FA Cup final when they go head-to-head with Manchester City in the semi-final at Wembley on Saturday evening. Ahead of the game, Mikel Arteta does not have any fresh injury concerns, but has still lost the services of one player.
Cedric Soares is not available to take on Manchester City, as he is cup-tied after featuring for Southampton earlier in the competition. Apart from Cedric, Arteta will be bereft of the services of Bernd Leno, Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah, who is suspended.
Leno’s continued absence due to a knee injury means Emiliano Martinez will continue to feature between the sticks for Arsenal. In front of him, the back-three should see one change. Shkodran Mustafi is expected to return after being given a breather against Liverpool.
Mustafi ought to line up in the three-man central defensive unit alongside David Luiz and Rob Holding, both of whom were in fine form against Liverpool earlier this week. Mustafi’s return means Kieran Tierney moves up into the left wing-back slot.
On the right flank, Hector Bellerin is a certain starter, especially with Cedric unavailable. Bellerin and Tierney will flank Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos, who will be back in the lineup in place of Lucas Torreira. Xhaka will hold the fort in front of defence while Ceballos will look to pull the strings in the middle of the park.
Finally, in attack, the big change will see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang return to the starting lineup after being given some time off in the last game. Alexandre Lacazette, who has returned to form in the last few weeks, will continue to lead the line for Arsenal and during his pre-match press conference, Arteta had glowing words for the Frenchman.
“I really like Alex, I said that even before I joined here that he is the type of striker that I really like. I think he had periods where he was very unlucky, because he was having the chances and not converting them which he is not used to.”
“But the way he can link play, he’s a massive competitor he hates to lose. He goes for every ball, you see in every challenge how he’s ready to go. He works really hard and he’s a very intelligent player, I am really happy with him.”
Lacazette will spearhead the Arsenal attack against Manchester City, with Aubameyang starting on his left. The right wing slot should be occupied by Nicolas Pepe, meaning Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson drop down to the bench.
Arsenal Predicted XI: Martinez; Mustafi, Luiz, Holding; Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Tierney; Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang