Having done a predicted line-up for today’s game in the last post, I now believe Arteta will do it differently, based on discussion on the blog.
The team had five days rest and will have five days of rest after this game (as AB pointed out in the last post); Arteta will love to build on the performance against OGS’ finest and tweak a few things in the process; momentum is key and a win, or indeed a loss, will have a big impact; and finally, he does not know his ‘second team players’ well enough to take big risks. In the end, we are the Kings of the FA Cup and would love to win it once more.
So I predict, Arteta will put up a very strong team for the entire football nation to watch (it’s live on BBC):
Big Sok only played once since Christmas, so surely he will be used for his experience and to build further on his fine performance against the odious Mancs (tautology intended). I just think Luiz needs to play again but maybe Holding gets a chance to shake off 2019’s rust and frustration. Saka… who else? A start for Bellerin next to solid Sok seems a possibility, but maybe Mikel prefers in-from AMN to boss the area?!
Midfield.. Xhaka a must and also he only played once since Christmas, so no brainer to me. Who next to him? Ideally, Torreira, but he needs a break, surely? It would be good to give AMN the position, and I feel this may well happen.
Up-front anything is possible but I reckon Arteta will want his experienced players to find their deadly shooting boots again. If Marti is fit we will see him start.
So that is my predicted-11, but is it yours too?