5 Changes, Odegaard starts: Arsenal vs. Leeds Predicted Line Up


With Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney out injured, Mikel Arteta has the tough task of hosting an energetic Leeds side. The Gunners will need to be at their best to come out on top for this one and a positive for Arteta is that both David Luiz and Bernd Leno have returned from suspension.

We take a look at the predicted line up as Arsenal host Leeds at 16:30 UK time on Sunday afternoon.

Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno

Ryan looked a good deputy, but Leno will almost certainly come back into the team now he is back from suspension.

Defence: Cedric Soares, David Luiz, Gabriel Magalhaes, Bukayo Saka

Whilst Saka has been excelling further up the pitch, the longer than expected injury to Tierney may force him to start from defence for this game. Cedric has deputised there but has looked uncomfortable on the left at times, being a natural right back. Luiz could come back in for Holding who has played a lot of games recently and made an error for Aston Villa’s winner last week. This would be a bit of a reshuffle in defence, but with three big games in a week, Arteta will need to be creative with his selections.

Midfield: Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos; Emile Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard, Nicolas Pepe

With Partey out injured, Arsenal will lose a midfield partnership that had been looking very good in recent weeks. Ceballos should be ahead of Elneny in the pecking order for this role, but Arteta may opt for the Egyptian as a more cautious option. But Ceballos can be good in tight areas and may be better against Leeds relentless press.

As for the three in front, Arsenal are likely to bring in Odegaard into the starting eleven for the first time. The Norweigan looked bright when he came on against Villa last week and he will be desperate to start impressing in England. With Saka in the defence, Smith Rowe could play from the right as a wide creative midfielder, complimenting and combining with Odegaard, as he did in that second half against Villa. On the left, Pepe is likely to continue.

Striker: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Lacazette’s red hot form has faded and whilst Pepe continues to impress on the left, it feels like the best place to get Aubameyang back in the team is through the middle, especially if Arsenal can get both Smith Rowe and Odegaard in the midfield behind him. This should relieve the creative duties normally required from the number 9 in this Arsenal system, allowing Aubameyang to focus on what’s in front of him and hopefully, with plenty of creativity behind him, score some goals.

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