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Premier League 2018/19: Predicted Arsenal line-up against Huddersfield

ANALYST
Feature
3.47K   //    06 Dec 2018, 23:22 IST

Manchester United v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Manchester United v Arsenal FC - Premier League

With the Manchester United match ending in a draw, Arsenal ended up fifth in the Premier League rankings after the midweek match. Fortunately for Unai Emery's team, the Gunners will face a much easier opponent on Saturday. Their opponent, Huddersfield, sit 17th in the table and have scored just 10 goals thus far.

In comparison to the rest of the league, the number of goals scored by the Terries is the least at the moment. Thus, this should pose less of a worry to the vulnerable Arsenal defence line which is also in the midst of an injury crisis.

Emery's men remain unbeaten in 20 consecutive games and look to continue that streak this weekend when they host the match at the Emirates Stadium. In light of the recent serious-looking injury to Rob Holding, Emery will be forced to reassess his starting line-up.

Luckily, both Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny do not seem far from making their return from injury. The two veteran defenders will offer Emery some hope even though the latter is not expected to play for the first team until the Europa League match against Qarabag.

After using a 3-4-3 formation with great success, Emery might return to a 4-2-3-1 formation after the injuries to his defenders and midfielders. This formation would bring greater stability to the team even though it may limit their creativity and attacking threat. Here is how they could line-up against David Wagner's men.


Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno

Leno has become Emery's first choice goalie
Leno has become Emery's first choice goalie

As much as Leno is showing difficulties in dealing with set-pieces, he looks comfortable playing the ball from the back and is always on alert when defenders make a back pass. Leno is hardly showing any signs of losing his place to Petr Cech and he is likely to remain between the posts this weekend.

Right-back: Hector Bellerin

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Bellerin has been favoured over Lichtsteiner
Bellerin has been favoured over Lichtsteiner

Bellerin is enjoying a wonderful season under Emery who allows him to express his creativity in the opponent's half. The Spaniard is extremely good at charging down the flanks and looks more threatening when he plays as a winger. However, with the injury to Holding, Emery could be tempted to switch to a back four to ensure greater stability at the back and that's where Bellerin would have to be more aware of his defensive duties as a full-back.

Centre-back: Sokratis

Sokratis is a defender willing to go down with his body and block the ball
Sokratis is a defender willing to go down with his body and block the ball

With Koscielny still on his way back from injury, the Greek defender will be starting with Mustafi without any doubt. Although he has been unable to help his side keep clean sheets, Sokratis has been doing great with his accurate and timely tackles. He has been setting a good example for less experienced defenders such as Holding and Mustafi so far.

Centre-back: Shkodran Mustafi

He scored with a header against Jose Mourinho's team and this showed that he can be an aerial threat in his opponent's penalty box. With no one else available, Mustafi will be playing with Sokratis.

Left-back: Sead Kolasinac

Kolasinac was forgiven by Emery for his mistake
Kolasinac was forgiven by Emery for his mistake

Even though he made a mistake which resulted in Manchester United's second equaliser of the night, Emery has continued to back Kolasinac. As Monreal steps up his recovery, Kolasinac has shown why he can play a vital role in the starting eleven.

He is far more aggressive and poses a greater threat in the final third as compared to the Spanish international. Given his talents in attack, it could help him retain his place ahead of Monreal.

Central Defensive Midfielder: Granit Xhaka

Xhaka served his suspension after receiving his fifth yellow of the season and will now be back in contention to start. The partnership between him and Torreira has been so effective that it was greatly missed during Wednesday night's game.

Through the draw with the Red Devils, fans realise his importance and the balance which he can bring to the team. Hence, the Swiss international is expected to receive the nod from Emery to start with Torreira once again.

Central Defensive Midfielder: Lucas Torreira

Torreira has been pulling off great performances since joining the Gunners
Torreira has been pulling off great performances since joining the Gunners

The Uruguayan was once again at his best when he played for the first time as an Arsenal man at the Old Trafford. The Arsenal fans love their tiny magician and the manager knows that if he wants his team to beat Huddersfield, Torreira would have to start.

His man-of-the-match performance in almost every game in recent weeks goes to show that the Gunners cannot do without him. His ability to recover the ball quickly and make interceptions have been important for the Gunners in controlling the game and dominating it especially in the second-half.

Left-winger: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Aubameyang saw his shots being saved by de Gea throughout the game
Aubameyang saw his shots being saved by de Gea throughout the game

There had been plenty of talk about Aubameyang's shots on target being saved by David de Gea during the Manchester United match. Nonetheless, the Gabon international is one of the most lethal strikers in the Premier League.

With Huddersfield struggling to find goals, Aubameyang could provide the Gunners with the goals on the other end. He is currently the top scorer in the league and has every ounce of confidence to make his strike count.

Central Attacking Midfielder: Alex Iwobi

With Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey dealing with their respective injuries, Arsenal will be lacking some sort of creativity in the team. Perhaps, Emery could turn to Iwobi who played only the first 45 minutes of the midweek match.

The Nigerian has been superb as a substitute in the early stages of the season, but somehow he has not been able to quite deliver what is expected of him in recent matches.

Right-winger: Henrikh Mkhitaryan

With no one else to turn to, Mkhitaryan is set to start against Huddersfield due to the injuries to the midfielders in the team. Comparisons have been made between Alexis Sanchez and himself, but both players have been incapable of replicating their previous successes enjoyed in their careers.

At times, Mkhitaryan's passes appear to not be in-sync with the rest of the team and he offers little when it comes to defending. However, the Armenian has actually been brilliant in the Europa League. He has to bring that sort of confidence and calmness into his games in the Premier League.

Striker: Alexandre Lacazette

Lacazette has been a player known for scoring against big clubs
Lacazette has been a player known for scoring against big clubs

The French star started on the bench in the previous two games as Emery chose to go ahead with a lone striker, Aubameyang. Lacazette has time and again showed his importance and ability to score in big matches.

As such, he should be rewarded with a start against Huddersfield. His understanding with Aubameyang has been amazing thus far and Emery should utilise that to make an impact on the game as early as possible.

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I am an avid Arsenal fan who started watching football back in 2014. COYG
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