Arsenal

Arsenal line-ups vs Liverpool as Martinelli starts, Havertz dropped and Zinchenko decision made

football.london’s writers offer their assistance to Mikel Arteta over the Arsenal starting line-up for Saturday evening’s Premier League clash against Liverpool
Regardless of what happens at Villa Park tonight (Friday), Arsenal know victory over Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday evening will guarantee top spot in the Premier League table at Christmas.

Having said that, the Gunners don’t have fond memories of this particular venue in recent years. You have to go back to September 2012 – a fixture that Mikel Arteta started – for the last time they recorded a victory in the league so that highlights the manner of the task at hand.
Furthermore, Liverpool are unbeaten at home in 20 Premier League games and responded to last weekend’s disappointing goalless draw with Manchester United by putting five past West Ham United in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night and certainly have the firepower to hurt Arsenal.
Simply put, the winners – if there’s to be one – will be top at Christmas and that’s no better incentive for either side. Therefore, Arteta has to get this line-up right to ensure the best possible start to the festive period. Thankfully for him, football.london’s writers are on hand to help and below is who they think should start for Arsenal against Liverpool.
Kaya Kaynak – Chief Arsenal Writer

I think this a game where calm heads will be required at Anfield. As a result, David Raya has to start over Aaron Ramsdale for me in between the posts.

In defence it largely picks itself. William Saliba being fit could make a huge difference. He is a far superior partner to Gabriel than Rob Holding at the back. Oleksandr Zinchenko meanwhile will want to recover from his error that allowed Trent Alexander-Arnold to set up the winner last season.
In midfield, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Jorginho are all fitness doubts. Personally though, if the latter is available for selection again, I would look to start him in this huge game. His cool head could be key alongside Declan Rice and captain Martin Odegaard.

Meanwhile, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus have to start in the forward positions. Gabriel Martinelli also has to play on the left with his impressive record against Liverpool, even if his form isn’t at his best right now.
Kaynak’s Arsenal XI vs Liverpool: Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Jorginho, Rice, Odegaard; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.

Tashan Deniran-Alleyne – Arsenal Writer

Unlike previous games against a ‘big six’ side this season, the Arsenal line-up picks itself. This is mainly down to fitness issues across the first-team squad which means Mikel Arteta isn’t in a position where he can rotate heavily.

Having said that, with this clash coming six days after the win over Brighton & Hove Albion in addition to a five-day gap to the West Ham fixture, the scheduling certainly works in the Gunners’ favour so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Spaniard names an unchanged team for the third Premier League game in a row.

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