Arsenal take on Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday night. This is the team I’d like to see Mikel Arteta select for the game…
Bernd Leno surprisingly started against Molde and should probably have done better to save their goal but he’ll still keep his place on Sunday with Alex Runarsson on the bench.
I hope Arteta goes with a back four as I don’t think there’s any need to play three centre-backs at home to Villa. Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin should be recalled to start in the full-back positions with Cedric Soares and Ainsley Maitland-Niles dropping out.
Gabriel will obviously come back into the side after being rested on Thursday and I’d like to see Rob Holding lining-up alongside the Brazilian. Holding did superbly well against Man Utd and deserves to keep his place ahead of David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi.
In midfield, Thomas Partey will start and I can’t wait to see him in action for Arsenal again. He’s already made a huge impression with his outstanding performance at Old Trafford and I think he’s going to be a big addition for the club.
Granit Xhaka is pushing to start but it’s hard to leave Mo Elneny out following his display at United. He may not be the most glamorous player but he does a job and had a great understanding with Partey last weekend.
Dani Ceballos is another option and he could even start in a 4-3-3 formation but we desperately need more creativity going forward and I think Joe Willock deserves a chance after impressing in the Europa League. Willock’s a real threat with his runs into the box and it’s the kind of new dimension Arsenal need in attack so I’d give him a chance against Villa.
Up front, no doubt Alexandre Lacazette will start but I’d like to see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang through the middle. Laca is badly out of form so it’s time to play Auba up front and allow Buyako Saka to play in his best position on the left side of attack.
Reiss Nelson missed the chance to shine against Molde after being ruled out with a knock and he’s not expected to be available on Sunday but we still have options on the right side of the Arsenal attack with Willian and Nicolas Pepe vying for the position.
Pepe is a frustrating player as he blows hot and cold. Against Molde, he was woeful one minute but still popped up with a goal and an assist. There is no doubting his ability but I still think Willian is the more reliable player.
The former Chelsea attacker is also inconsistent at times but I’d still opt for the Brazilian and have Pepe on the bench along with Eddie Nketiah.
This would be my line-up: