Ex-Manchester United right-back Gary Neville believes that Arsenal manager Unai Emery should look to select more experienced players when they face Liverpool at Anfield this evening.
The TV pundit is worried that some of the Gunners’ younger stars could be overawed by the occasion, and he singled out Joe Willock and Matteo Guendouzi, in particular, who he thinks should be dropped:
“This is not a kindergarten place, Anfield, you need to go with a little bit of experience and I think some of the players on the bench [last week] and maybe Xhaka need to come in.”
“When we were going to Anfield in the sort of early days when we were young lads coming through into the team, that was the one ground where we were left out, at Anfield.”
“As 19 or 20 year olds, maybe one of us might play but three or four of us weren’t thrown in. It was just too much, it’s intense, it’s hostile, it’s fast, it’s furious. Liverpool have a great record and now actually have a team to match as well.”
“Surely you can’t go there with four players under the age of 21, particularly those two [Willock and Guendouzi] in midfield.”
With Xhaka facing a late fitness test, it will be a selection headache for Emery ahead of the game this evening. If the Swiss international is not fully fit, you would have to think that Guendouzi would be a better choice.
The Frenchman has started both of Arsenal’s matches so far this campaign and has been trusted in big games before. In Willock’s case too, the 20-year-old has started the season very well, but there are options for Emery if he wants to change things.
Lucas Torreira could come into the side or Mesut Ozil may return if the Arsenal boss opts to reshuffle the pack in the middle of the park.