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Charlie Nicholas has urged Unai Emery to drop ‘shocking’ Matteo Guendouzi ahead of Saturday’s vital clash against Leicester City.
The 20-year-old impressed during the early stages of the season, particularly with a man-of-the-match performance against Tottenham in the north London derby and was rewarded with his first call-up to the senior France side last month.
Guendouzi has found the going tougher in recent weeks, however, with Emery constantly changing his midfield combinations.
Nicholas, however, believes the former Lorient star has avoided criticism due to the Granit Xhaka controversy and believes, like the Switzerland international, he needs to be taken out of the firing line.
‘Kieran Tierney needs to work on his final ball and this is important to get the service into the frontmen. Matteo Guendouzi is having a shocker and he is getting away with it due to Xhaka – he needs to be taken out of the team.
I would rather Unai Emery go with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Lucas Torreira, he told Sky Sports.
‘This is his normal position, so let them be the legs in front of you. Mesut Ozil played well so he should stay in the side ahead of Dani Ceballos, while bringing Nicolas Pepe in for the counter-attack.
I am not feeling good about this one.’ Leicester will move nine points clear of the Gunners in the race for the top four with a win at the King Power and Nicholas is predicting more misery for his old club.
‘It is a very good Leicester team at the moment. Brendan Rodgers has earned the praise. Jamie Vardy’s goalscoring level has returned and James Maddison has been great, not to mention everybody else playing their part.
‘This Leicester side are much better to watch than the title-winning side. They have pace, balance and are technically very good – you can get at them defensively in my mind but they are a decent force with pace and movement in the attacking half.
Arsenal do not know how to handle that and cannot defend. ‘Leicester have too much of this for my liking.’