Nketiah Starts, 11 Changes: Arsenal’s Projected XI to Face Red Star Belgrade


Eddie Nketiah could be in line for his first start in an Arsenal shirt as the Gunners host Red Star on Thursday. With the Gunners facing Manchester City at the weekend, Wenger is unlikely to call upon any of his regular 11 for this fixture. Although a win would send Arsenal through to the next stage of the Europa League, Wenger will be confident that even after making 11 changes, his team can get maximum points from this fixture. Here’s the attacking line up I’d like to see Arsenal put out.

Goalkeeper: Matt Macey

With Ospina still an injury doubt, Macey is likely to retain his place between the sticks after featuring against Norwich.

Defence: Mathieu Debuchy, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers

Midfield: Reiss Nelson, Jack Wilshere, Mohammed Elneny, Alex Iwobi

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Neither Iwobi nor Nelson are ideally suited for the wing back positions, but with three central defenders, two central midfielders and the opponent in mind, I don’t think the Gunners need to put out wing backs. Nelson and Iwobi could both perform in these positions in a home game against Red Star in my opinion, as Arsenal look for a confidence-boosting win. Wilshere and Elneny offer lots of energy in the middle of the park and I believe Wilshere needs a few games in a deeper position in order to get him fully back into competitive football.

Attack: Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Eddie Nketiah

Nketiah could be in line for his first senior start in an Arsenal shirt after impressing from the bench against Norwich City. Giroud and Walcott are almost certainty’s in this XI, as the duo look to force their way back into the manager’s first 11. Whilst Wenger could opt for Wilshere or Iwobi in the left forward position, I would like to see Nketiah given a start in order to showcase his ability, this, of all the games remaining seems a perfect opportunity to do so.

The likes of Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Francis Coquelin are also options to come into this side, if Wenger chooses to rest the likes of Wilshere and Iwobi for the weekend.

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