Arsenal will have it all to do when they visit the Etihad stadium on Wednesday, with a victory – or at least a draw – now imperative more than ever in the biggest game of the season thus far.

After dropping six points in their last three league games, the Gunners are now in a precarious position in the title race, despite leading the table for much of the campaign.

Ramsdale is expected to keep his place in goal after Friday night’s blunder but there has to be some reshuffling done with the backline that sits infront of him.

Holding’s presence has made Saliba’s absence felt so painfully and the ex-Bolton man has to sit this one out for a new defensive Arsenal shape at the back.

White, Gabriel and Tierney should be the back three while Xhaka and Partey sit infront of them, with Saka (a former full-back) and Zinchenko filling the wing-back roles.

Assuming Xhaka is fit to start, having Zinchenko in a more advanced position could prove to be a masterstroke decision, considering the energy and forward-thinking movements he brings. Of course, those same traits are part of why the Ukranian is not so relaible as an orthodox full-back or defender.

The rest of the team picks itself with Odegaard and Martinelli virtually guaranteed a start while Jesus is preferred to Trossard.

Jesus’ ability to tussle with defenders and hold up the ball as a lone striker will be much-needed in a game where Arsenal might not see a lot of the ball.



White – Gabriel – Tierney

Saka – Partey – Xhaka – Zinchenko

Odegaard – Jesus – Martinelli

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