Arsenal manager Unai Emery doesn’t have many options to address the problems in the backline heading into tomorrow’s match against Aston Villa.
The likes of Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin and Konstantinos Mavropanos all played for the Under 23s versus Wolves last night and won’t be in the squad for the game at the Emirates.
Emery could select either Calum Chambers or Shkodran Mustafi after they helped the Gunners keep a clean sheet against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday but they still conceded 24 shots in the 3-0 win.
Rob Holding could be considered but it would be a lot to ask of him to start a Premier League game after 10 months out. The match against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup is a likelier game to see his comeback.
It’s very likely that the back four that looked so poor against Watford will again be selected for the game versus Villa. Even then, Sead Kolasinac is facing a battle to be fit so the Gunners may have to select Maitland-Niles or even Granit Xhaka at left-back.
In midfield, Joe Willock’s impressive display in Germany should make him a candidate to start tomorrow, but Emery may opt to go with Dani Ceballos and Matteo Guendouzi.
Up front, Bukayo Saka’s man of the match performance should really be rewarded but the fact that Reiss Nelson was rested during the week suggests he is likely to come into the starting eleven. It could mean that Mesut Ozil misses out, though, unless Emery opts to play Ceballos in a deeper role.
Arsenal’s Predicted XI To Face Aston Villa:
Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac, Guendouzi, Ceballos, Xhaka, Pepe, Aubameyang, Nelson