Arsenal travel to east London to take on West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.
The north London outfit are in a good run of form, having secured back-to-back victories against Chelsea and Manchester United, meaning they now sit fourth in the table, two points clear of Tottenham Hotspur. The Hammers played in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday night, something that may mean David Moyes opts to rest some of his players, something he did last weekend against Chelsea.
However, Mikel Arteta will want to field his strongest XI, especially when you consider some of the injury problems that the Spaniard has to deal with at this moment in time. With that in mind, football.london has taken a look at two ways the Spaniard could line-up this afternoon.
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After an impressive display against United, Arteta may want to stick to a winning formula. He returned to a back four against the Red Devils, with Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes partnering at centre-back and Nuno Tavares and Cedric Soares operating as the full-backs.
Although Tavares got on the scoresheet, he and Soares were probably the weak links in the Gunners side that day, and had Jadon Sancho or Anthony Elanga been in better form, they could’ve capitalised on their often poor positioning. Thus, now that Takehiro Tomiyasu is fit again, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him replace one of the two on the defensive flanks (more likely Soares), although, a start may come too soon for the Japanese international.
Other than that, you’d expect Arteta to name an unchanged side. That means Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny unite in the middle to form an experienced central area, whereas Emile Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah form the Gunners’ attacking options
While there’s no doubting the tweaked Arsenal impressed against Chelsea and United, there is every chance Arteta could be tempted to revert to the XI that has brought him so much success this season. It was a line-up that started to fail him against Crystal Palace and Brighton but sometimes a risk is worth taking.
It would see Lacazette replace Nketiah in attack and more than likely Martinelli come in for Smith Rowe, two moves that would be unpopular to say the least among supporters. But the front three of Lacazette, Martinelli and Saka have arguably produced the Gunners’ best football this campaign and could cause West Ham’s defence plenty of problems.
It’s a move that could also see Soares come move over to left-back in order to add further experience in the defence against a potentially menacing attack.
Source by Football London