After letting a lead slip away, resulting in them losing the game late on against Chelsea, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal will look to convert performance into a win when they face rivals Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on New Year’s Day.
The Gunners played a very good game on Sunday and were unfortunate to not even get a point against their London rivals but the fact remains that as of now, they are closer to relegation than they are to the top-four sides in the league.
So, it is crucial that they start winning games as soon as possible to have a chance to finishing in the top-six, let alone top four.
However, it won’t be easy against United, who like playing against teams who attack them. Having beaten Manchester City recently, they will be on a high coming into this game.
In terms of Arsenal team news, Calum Chambers is out for a while after he was injured in the Chelsea game. Granit Xhaka is a doubt, while Dani Ceballos and Hector Bellerin are still not 100%.
Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac are long-term absentees.
That being said, here’s how we think Arteta will line his team up:
GK - Bernd Leno
Notwithstanding the error he made against Chelsea, Leno has been Arsenal’s best player this season. He should be in goal on Wednesday.
RB - Ainsley Maitland-Niles
The youngster has been doing a decent job at right-back off late. He should keep his place in the team.
CB - David Luiz
Luiz played well against his former club on Sunday. He is Arsenal’s leading defender now and is in line to start against United.
CB - Shkodran Mustafi
With Chambers and Sokratis out for this game, we should see Mustafi partnering Luiz in central defence.
LB - Bukayo Saka
Amidst shortage of left-backs, Arteta doesn’t have many choices but to continue playing Saka in that position.
CM - Lucas Torreira
He played really well against Chelsea and looked to have taken Arteta’s coaching on board nicely. He should keep his place in the team.
CM - Matteo Guendouzi
With Xhaka still a doubt after missing the Chelsea game, Guendouzi could well continue to partner Torreira in central midfield.
RW - Nicolas Pepe
Having only played five minutes against Chelsea, Pepe deserves a start in this game, especially keeping Alexandre Lacazette’s low form in regard.
CAM - Mesut Ozil
Ozil had a superb game on Sunday and was rightly taken off in the 75th minute to save him for this game. He is one of the first names on the teamsheet these days.
LW - Reiss Nelson
The youngster was superb on and off the ball against Chelsea. He may switch wings but should still be in the side come Wednesday night.
ST - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
The captain got his customary goal on Sunday and gave his all in a losing cause. He should get a chance to lead the line though, rather than playing as an inside forward.