Monday was a tough game for Arsenal, but not unexpected. Mikel Arteta has made a lot of progress in recent months. Several players have improved, the team is overall better defensively and he has found a formation that works in most situations. Liverpool at Anfield was always going to be a tough one. Trying to get three consecutive results on them would have been huge.
Instead, we created limited chances, scored only one and a few individual mistakes decided the game. But now it’s time to turn the XI and return to Liverpool as the two sides face off again on Thursday, this time in the Carabao Cup for a place in the quarter-finals. With another game coming up on Sunday as well, we should see a lot of changes in the starting lineup. Who takes the start in the middle of the field? And could we see two different beginnings?
Planned starting XI
- Alexandre lacazette
- Ainsley Maitland-Niles
- Granit xhaka
- David Luiz
- Kieran Tierney
- Bernd Leno
Notes on XI:
- Excluded: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Özil, Dani Ceballos, Lucas Torreira, Mattéo Guendouzi, Hector Bellerin et Rob Holding
- Injured: Sokratis, Emile Smith Rowe, Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari, Gabriel Martinelli et Calum Chambers.
- With Pepe, Nketiah, Nelson and Saka all not starting on Monday, they would be expected to start on Thursday. To get the four into the starting XI, Saka plays as a left-back and Nelson is pushed to the left of the top three. It might not be the game, but I’d love to see Arteta try Pepe on the left to allow him to cross the ball more freely – even if it’s only a half hour or 20 experience. minutes.
- Willock definitely gets another Cup start on Thursday, but who should team up with him? Elneny & Xhaka started on Monday, but Ceballos replaced Xhaka. Although Elneny is the only player to have completed 90 of the four, I still think he is the best option here. Have him sit in the back line and allow Willock to run into the attack at times. This keeps Xhaka and Ceballos ready to start Sunday against Sheffield United.
- Hoping that Cédric is able to start at the right rear to rest Bellerin and AMN. Then, for the back row, you would imagine Kolasinac and Gabriel coming back. I would have preferred to have Gabriel for Monday and Sunday, but now it’s hard to see him start both, or force Holding or Luiz to start all three.
- Which leaves two roles and potentially debuts William Saliba and Alex Runarsson. Runarsson seems to be the safest choice. It would be nice to see Saliba before the international break, especially for the players to rest on Sunday. Considering this should be Liverpool’s second eleven, I think it’s time to test it.
How to watch
Thursday (10/1) at 2:45 p.m. ET / 11:45 a.m. PT on ESPN +.