Mikel Arteta secured his first win as Arsenal head coach on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Manchester United.
The Gunners looked menacing every time they went forward and could have scored three or four goals before half time. However, they were equally impressive defensively, nullifying United’s threat on the counter-attack.
As a result, they will come into Monday’s clash with Leeds United full of confidence and while Arteta will look to rest certain players after a hectic festive period, he will also be keen to see his team continue to build momentum.
Here’s the starting lineup Arteta should pick for Monday’s FA Cup clash…
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Emiliano Martinez (GK) – Bernd Leno is expected to be rested, meaning Martinez will be handed a start. The shot-stopper started all six of the north London side’s Europa League fixtures, while he also began both matches in the Carabao Cup. Martinez will be looking to pick up a clean sheet and prove his worth to the new boss.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (RB) – Arteta may decide against risking Hector Bellerin, who will need to pass a late fitness test. As a result, he could once again turn towards Maitland-Niles, who started the game against the Red Devils. The right-back works hard for the team, looking to act as an outlet throughout matches, but he does need to remain concentrated. The defender made a number of sloppy passes last time out, but luckily for him, they weren’t punished.
Shkodran Mustafi (CB) – Well, he may not be a fan favourite, but he is expected to start against Leeds. David Luiz and Sokratis were both excellent against United last time out, over to you, Shkodran…
Rob Holding (CB) – Holding got ready to come on during Wednesday’s clash, but was eventually sat back down. The Englishman has struggled with injuries this season, but he will be desperate to take his opportunity to impress the new head coach.
Bukayo Saka (LB) – Sead Kolasinac was excellent against United on Wednesday, but he hobbled off the pitch having only recently returned from injury. As a result, Saka will come back into the side, once again operating as a left-back. The 18-year-old has looked comfortable slotting in at the back, doing his defensive duties, while also making overlapping runs to support the attack.
Joe Willock (CM) – Joe Willock started all six of Arsenal’s Europa League games this campaign, while he has also managed six starts in the Premier League in 2019/20. The 20-year-old plays with a maturity well beyond his years and everyone at the club has high hopes for the youngster.
Matteo Guendouzi (CM) – Guendouzi has become a key figure for Arsenal, working tirelessly to win the ball, before driving forward and looking to bring others into the game. The youngster still has a lot to learn, but he is certainly a talent with a very bright future.
Dani Ceballos (AM) – Mesut Ozil shone during the win over United, closing down and harrying the opposition, while he also showed his quality on the ball. However, he is expected to be given a rest and Dani Ceballos will be given his chance to impress, having just recently returned from injury. The Spaniard has the ability to unlock a defence with a pinpoint pass, while he can also glide past players with ease.
Nicolas Pepe (RW) – Pepe had arguably his best game in an Arsenal shirt on Wednesday, constantly getting in behind Luke Shaw before looking up to find his teammates. He managed to grab one goal and hit the post once, as well. The 24-year-old was outstanding. Prior to that match, Pepe had not started in his side’s last three league games and, as a result, he will keep his place in the side and will be hoping for another impressive display.
Reiss Nelson (LW) – Against Chelsea, Nelson looked bright, making penetrating runs to get in behind the opposition’s defence. With Pepe set to keep his place on the right following his performance against Man Utd, Nelson will move over to the left-wing and he will look to be direct and purposeful in possession, linking up with his teammates.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) – Where would Arsenal be without this man? The captain is continuing to shine and although he certainly deserves a rest, Aubameyang will likely start against Leeds, with young attacker Gabriel Martinelli needing to pass a late fitness test. A world-class talent.