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Arsenal simply have to get our first points on the board this season when we welcome West Ham to the Emirates on Saturday afternoon. This is the line-up I’d like Unai Emery to select…
Emery has made Cech his number one and he’s expected to keep the gloves on Saturday but personally I’d like to see Leno come in. It’s an odd decision to spend £22m on a new goalkeeper only to leave him on the bench when Cech’s form has been questionable over the past year. Let’s give Leno a chance to make the No.1 shirt his own.
Defence: Bellerin, Sokratis, Mustafi, Monreal
There have been growing calls for Bellerin to be dropped with Lichtsteiner starting at right-back after the Spaniard made another mistake against Chelsea for their first goal. There’s no doubt he gets caught out defensively and Emery needs to work with him on the training pitch but I’d stick with Bellerin for now.
Obviously Monreal will continue at left-back with Kolasinac out until October with a knee injury while we have little option other than to go with Mustafi and Sokratis in the middle of the back four.
Koscielny made a surprise return to light training this week but he’s still a long way from full fitness. Our defence has been poor so far this season so the coaching staff are going to have to earn their money and tighten things up on the training field.
Midfield: Torreira, Ramsey, Ozil
Guendouzi was impressive again last weekend but he’s not without his faults. As excited as I am with the 19-year-old I still think it’s a risk to throw him in as a regular so soon. He wasn’t even playing for Lorient in Ligue 2 last season!
I’d rather we ease him in and give Torreira his full debut tomorrow. He’s the defensive midfielder we’ve been crying out for in recent years so it makes no sense leaving him on the bench any longer.
Ramsey was axed against Chelsea last week but I don’t see how a player of his ability doesn’t start for Arsenal ahead of the likes of Xhaka – especially if Torreira is in the defensive midfield role.
The Uruguayan should give us an added protection in front of the back four which will allow Ramsey more freedom to play box-to-box. I think it’s a partnership with huge potential and the West Ham game is a great opportunity to try it out.
Xhaka is a tough one. His distribution of the ball when we’re in possession is missed when he’s not in the team but he’s a total liability when we don’t have the ball. Unfortunately I think the cons outweigh the pros.
Ozil has been disappointing this season and Emery isn’t messing around with the German superstar after hooking him early in the second half at Stamford Bridge. West Ham at home is the ideal type of game for Ozil so I’d start him but he needs to step-up or his place is under threat.
Attack: Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Lacazette
Emery has made it pretty clear he’s not going to start Lacazette and Aubameyang together any time soon but I think it’s a mistake. They seem to have a great understanding and we’re far more dangerous with both of them on the pitch.
I’d love to see us go with Auba on the left side of attack with Laca through the middle tomorrow but sadly I think we’ll see the Frenchman left on the bench once again and Iwobi keeping his place. To be fair, Iwobi played very well against Chelsea but it’s just I’d rather see Auba/Laca together in the long-run.
Mkhitaryan stepped-up last weekend and was a real threat with the Armenian international taking his goal well so he deserves to keep his place on the right side of attack. That means Welbeck will have to make do with a place on the bench once again.
Here is the side I hope we’ll see:
While this is the team I’d go with, in reality I think Emery will select Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal; Guendouzi, Torreira, Ozil; Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Aubameyang.
Either way, whoever starts, all that’s important is that Arsenal collect all three points tomorrow.