No start for Smith-Rowe: 4-2-1-3 Predicted team vs Oxford Utd
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will be hoping his side can secure a win on Monday night against Oxford United to book a big clash with Manchester City in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Following a tough 0-0 draw with Newcastle last week, the Gunners will briefly have to switch their focus to the FA Cup as they travel to minnows Oxford United in the third round of the competition.
In goal, Matt Turner should receive some playing time after enjoying an impressive World Cup for the US national team in Qatar.
William Saliba – who was also in Qatar last month – should start, in order to gain some more match sharpness and perhaps eliminate any rustiness he has shown in recent games since returning from international duty with France.
The rest of the back four should include fringe players like Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney and either Tomiyasu or Cedric Soares, who has hardly featured this season.
In midfield, Lokonga and Elneny should get their chance to impress, while Xhaka features in a more advanced role, where the returning Emile Smith-Rowe could feature.
With no competitive minutes of football under his belt following his recovery from injury, it would be risky to throw Smith-Rowe straight in for a potentially gritty away fixture and possibly cause further harm to his fitness. Thus, the safe choice would be to name the young Englishman on the bench instead.
In attack, Marquinhos and Vieira should be the foil for Nketiah, who will also be hoping to extend his scoring tally in the absence of Gabriel Jesus.