Arsenal will be hoping to snatch a rare opportunity to climb into fourth spot in the Premier League table on Thursday, when they face Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Even though the Gunners were able to secure a relatively comfortable 2-0 win over Newcastle on Saturday, their last away fixture in the competition exposed some flaws which may need to be rectified by manager Mikel Arteta.

Thus, Thursday night will present a chance for the Arsenal boss to select or drop certain players, and make some big calls needed to propel the club into contention for a place in the Champions League.

In goal, Aaron Ramsdale is now the main shot-stopper and after his string of impressive shows thus far, that should not change tonight.

At right-back, Takehiro Tomiyasu has continued to do enough to retain his spot, but following his high-profile error in Arsenal’s most recent away game at Anfield, Nuno Tavares has to make way for a calmer head like Tierney at left-back. A game of this nature on the road simply requires more experience and composure at both ends of the pitch.

The centre-back partnership between Gabriel and Ben White has to be kept as well, as the duo continue to flourish for the most part for now.

In midfield, Lokonga and Partey should start to keep their role of shielding the back four, a major assignment against a Manchester United team who can be exceptional at counter-attacks.

With Alexandre Lacazette starting as the lone striker upfront, the out-of-form Aubameyang – who is perhaps in serious need of a breather – has to be replaced by the promising Martinelli while Smith-Rowe and Odegaard maintain their roles as chief playmakers in the side.



Tomiyasu – White – Gabriel – Tierney

Lokonga – Partey

Smith-Rowe – Odegaard – Martinelli


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