Arteta Considers Changes Ahead of Gunners’ Pivotal Tie with City

Arteta Considers Changes Ahead of Gunners’ Pivotal Tie with City
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta on the touchline during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Saturday February 11, 2023. - Photo by Icon sport

Arsenal won’t be able to dwell on their defeat to Brentford for long, as they host Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night in a crucial Premier League match.

It’s an apprentice vs. the master showdown in a game that might decide where the Premier League trophy ends up in May, and it’s critical that the Gunners boss, in particular, gets his team selection right to halt a recent slump in form that has seen their title challenge waver.

Arteta’s Starting Lineup will be Vital

Ironically, the Spaniard did rotate for the two sides’ FA Cup fourth-round clash a few weeks ago, and there’s a strong argument that the 1-0 setback at the Etihad Stadium has disrupted Arsenal’s momentum, especially after the Gunners had won consecutive games against Tottenham and Manchester United.

Having said that, the defeat at Everton and the 1-1 draw with Brentford at the weekend will be mostly forgotten if the north London club can overcome Man City outside of a cup competition for the first time since December 2015, when Arteta was still a player – albeit he did not make the matchday squad that night.

Arteta hasn’t made many changes to his Arsenal starting lineup in the Premier League so far this season. When every senior player is available for selection, it’s become easy to forecast what the 40-year-old will do with his side.

Furthermore, the fact that he chose not to rotate his squad for the Brentford game on Saturday could indicate that he will field his strongest available team on Wednesday night, with Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Thomas Partey, and Bukayo Saka all starting.

Trossard could Start on Wednesday


Leandro Trossard, on the other hand, has offered the Spanish tactician some fuel for thought. Aside from his goal-scoring contribution from the bench at the weekend, the £21m January transfer window recruit has looked promising when given an opportunity and did offer difficulties for Manchester City in the FA Cup clash.

If the Belgian international is given his first league start for Arsenal since joining from Brighton & Hove Albion, Gabriel Martinelli may suffer the ultimate price for a recent slump in form by being pulled from the starting lineup.

“I think every player has his moment,” Arteta said about the Brazilian after the Brentford game. “We have moved today Gabi for Leo because Leo in those spaces is so good and so composed. He’s constantly faking movements and playing forward. He’s got a great smell for where the ball is going to land and we believe it was the right choice to bring him on.”

Though ex-Man City player Gabriel Jesus is unlikely to feature as he makes a return from injury, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe may also be in contention for the big game if Arteta chooses to mix things up.

Neither of the youngsters featured in the squad at the weekend as they recovered from injuries but they could be ready to at least line out on the bench on Wednesday. They could well provide the difference if they were to make an impact at the Emirates.

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