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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta faces temptation to change three players in his starting XI for the huge clash against Manchester City tonight. Arsenal know defeat would see their opponents leapfrog them at the top of the table. Express Sport looks at the expected XI Arteta is set to field at the Emirates.
Goalkeeper – Ramsdale
Aaron Ramsdale is clearly a shoo-in for this one. However, he has kept just two clean sheets at home in the Premier League this season.
Arsenal can’t always rely on scoring at least twice to win a game, as was shown against Brentford. Ramsdale has faced some criticism for his role in the Bees’ equaliser at the weekend.
Defence – White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko
The first temptation Arteta may have is at right-back. Ben White has started every game there this season but has perhaps looked tired of late.
Takehiro Tomiyasu is waiting for his chance. Kieran Tierney is also a candidate to come in at left-back to provide a different option to Oleksandr Zinchenko, who was slightly off at the weekend.
However, Arteta clearly feels White and Zinchenko are in his best XI so may decide to stick with that. William Saliba and Gabriel will occupy the centre-back positions.
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Midfield – Partey, Odegaard, Xhaka
Again it’s the tried and tested midfield. It didn’t do the job on Saturday but has most of the time this season.
Jorginho will have to wait longer for his full debut. He is unlikely to start a league game unless Thomas Partey is injured or in need of a rest.
Arsenal need their skipper Martin Odegaard and former captain Granit Xhaka at their best for this one. They have been two of the standout players this season but now face their toughest test.
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Attack – Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli
There is temptation for Arteta to start Leandro Trossard ahead of Gabriel Martinelli. The Belgian scored his first goal for the club as a substitute at the weekend.
But this could be the perfect game for Martinelli. City will play a higher line than recent opposition Arsenal have faced and the Brazilian’s pace in behind could be vital to any success Arsenal have in the final third.
Arsenal will need Bukayo Saka at his best, as he so often has been this season. Eddie Nketiah may come across a different test to what he faced with the physicality of Everton and Brentford in the last two games.
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