Ozil, Aubameyang and Pepe Start: Arsenal’s Predicted Lineup Against Leicester City

After fielding a back-three against Vitoria for the first time since May, Unai Emery is expected to switch to a more solid back four for Arsenal’s trip to Leicester City.

The Gunners lined up with a new-look defence in the Europa League on Wednesday having used the formation to success last season.

The formation is one which could get the best out of David Luiz, who thrived in a back-three at Chelsea, while Rob Holding is a natural left-sided centre-back.

Ahead of the central pair, both Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac are at their most effective when deployed as wing-backs.
It remains to be seen whether Emery opts for a back four or a back three but considering the form of leicester City right now,  it can be best assumed a solid back four is a much safer option.

Team News

After being stripped of the captaincy, Granit Xhaka is again unlikely to play after being left out of matchday squads since October 27. His return is now expected to be after the upcoming international break after two games for Switzerland under his belt.
Further forward Mesut Ozil should be restored as the No10 after missing Wednesday’s match in Portugal, while Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are set to lead the line.
Dani Ceballos is a doubt going into this fixture after the injury he sustained against Vitoria. Whether or not he’s passed fit, Emery might not want to risk starting him in the game.

Predicted Lineup

Defence

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Emery is destined to shuffle his pack after a strenuous midweek fixture against Vitoria Guimaraes. He is also expected to revert to a four-man backline to mirror Leicester’s attacking setup under Brendan Rodgers.

Sokratis is likely to retain his place in central defence, despite a mediocre display in midweek. New signing David Luiz will partner him at the heart of Arsenal’s four-man backline. These two will be expecting a busy afternoon against an attacking Leicester side.

Calum Chambers will replace Ainsley Maitland-Niles at right-back, though the latter actually played as a wing-back against Vitoria. Kieran Tierney, meanwhile, will be the second player to retain his place in the backline. The Scot will be deployed on the opposite flank as he looks to keep up his excellent run of form.

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And finally, Bernd Leno will return in between the sticks for Arsenal, at the expense of Emiliano Martinez. The German will be looking for only his third clean sheet of the campaign.

Midfield

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Dani Ceballos is a doubt going into this fixture. The Spaniard picked up a knock in midweek and might be replaced by Lucas Torreira, with Granit Xhaka unlikely to feature. In fact, the Swiss international is now reportedly facing an uncertain future at the club following his reaction to Arsenal fans in the stadium against Crystal Palace.

Torreira, meanwhile, could be partnered by the ever-present figure of Matteo Guendouzi. These two will operate in the double-pivot. In the number ten slot, we expect Emery to opt for Mesut Ozil. He will be starting ahead of Joe Willock, who is waiting on the wings should the German fail to make the squad on Saturday.

Attack

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With both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette available, one would expect Emery to return to his previous idea of playing the former in a wide attacking role.

Indeed, Aubameyang could operate as the left-winger while Nicolas Pepe is a guaranteed starter on the opposite flank. These two will look to combine with Ozil and craft scoring opportunities, though the Gabonese may drift into a central role on couple occasions, making it more like a 4-2-2-2.

The number nine role will be occupied by Lacazette, who has become a vital member of the side following his return from injury. The Frenchman will be desperate to add some goals to his tally following an uneventful start to the campaign.

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