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Mikel Arteta faces two trips to St. Mary’s Stadium this week, so let’s take a look at our Arsenal predicted lineup vs Southampton in the FA Cup first.
Even though Arsenal are travelling away to strong opposition on Saturday, we may well still see some rotation from Mikel Arteta. He made quite a few changes for the recent FA Cup match against Newcastle, so you’d expect something similar here.
After this Saturday’s match, the team only have a few days to recover before facing Southampton away again on Tuesday in the Premier League. So Arteta won’t want to risk playing too many first-choice starters in both.
Here’s our Arsenal predicted lineup vs Southampton for this weekend.
One player who didn’t get a rest in the cup game against Newcastle United, and probably won’t get one here either, was Bernd Leno. The goalkeeper is on a run of five games without conceding a goal, and in the sixth game, he saved a Chelsea penalty.
That’s an excellent run of form, and he’ll likely look to keep it going against Southampton.
In the centre-back pairing, this is a good opportunity to reintroduce Gabriel Magalhaes after his positive Covid test ruled him out for a couple of weeks.
With Pablo Mari injured and Rob Holding and David Luiz the current starting pair, that leaves Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers to fill the other spot if Arteta wants to rotate. Chambers made the bench against Newcastle, so perhaps he’ll get a chance this time.
Cedric Soares played well against Newcastle in the league game, allowing Hector Bellerin the chance to rest. Bellerin will probably come back in for this one.
Arteta will be wary of overplaying Kieran Tierney after his recent injury, so he may have to bring Ainsley Maitland-Niles back in on the left. It’s far from ideal, but the only other real option is Bukayo Saka, who is also in need of a rest or two.
With Dani Ceballos out injured, Thomas Partey only just back from injury and Granit Xhaka starting every league game for the last month, we’ll probably see the same midfield as in the last cup tie, with Joe Willock joining Mohamed Elneny.
I’d imagine Arsenal fans aren’t going to be too happy about this, but we may well see Willian playing the number 10 role again. Emile Smith Rowe is proving crucial to the recent upturn in form for the team and Arteta won’t want to risk an injury to him.
Gabriel Martinelli is back from injury and could get a chance on the left, whilst Nicolas Pepe will probably replace Saka on the right.
Arsenal started Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front in the FA Cup against Newcastle, but that was when they were trying to play him into form, which he seems to be finding at last.
So this might be an opportunity for Eddie Nketiah to make his first start since before Christmas instead. According to reports, Folarin Balogun won’t get further first-team chances unless he signs a new deal, as Nketiah did at his age.
Arsenal predicted lineup vs Southampton