Arsenal FC

The Arsenal lineup that should start against Leeds

By Harry Symeou
Feb 11, 2021, 2:30 PM GMT
Mikel Arteta was left frustrated when his team failed to take all three points at Elland Road earlier this season
Mikel Arteta was left frustrated when his team failed to take all three points at Elland Road earlier this season | Pool/Getty Images
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As Arsenal prepare to take on Leeds at the Emirates this weekend, Mikel Arteta will be hoping his team can turn their form around having suffered successive defeats at Wolves and Aston Villa.

Bernd Leno and David Luiz, who were both sent off at Molineux, were suspended for the trip to Villa Park but are available for selection this weekend - giving the Gunners boss a decision to make.

An early error from Cedric Soares gifted Dean Smith's side a goal inside two minutes last Saturday and unfortunately for the north London club, they were unable to breach Villa's resistance led by the impressive Tyrone Mings.

Taking into account the need for Arsenal to get back to winning ways and the latest team news, 90min takes a look at the side Arteta should name for the Valentine's Day fixture.

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Mat Ryan made his Arsenal debut at Aston Villa last weekend
Mat Ryan made his Arsenal debut at Aston Villa last weekend | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Bernd Leno (GK) - Having served his suspension for handling the ball outside of his penalty area, it's expected the German will return to the starting XI. Apart from that moment of madness at Molineux, he has been in excellent form of late.

Hector Bellerin (RB) - Clearly Mikel Arteta's first choice right back, the Spaniard is not believed to be suffering from any fitness issues. One of the boss' vice-captains, Bellerin is clearly seen as a leader and you can expect him to start whenever fit.

Rob Holding (CB) - The English defender came close to leaving the club during the summer but has taken his opportunity this season. Based on his current form, Holding should start in the heart of the defence.

David Luiz (CB) - Given his ability to play direct passes over the top for the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to run onto, the Brazilian's passing range could mean he's able to expose a high-pressing Leeds side.

Cedric Soares (LB) - Despite his error at Aston Villa last weekend, the 29-year-old has deputised pretty well for Kieran Tierney who hasn't featured since January 18. The Scottish defender remains unavailable, so Cedric will continue in his absence.

2. Midfielders

Odegaard looked lively when introduced at Villa Park
Odegaard looked lively when introduced at Villa Park | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Granit Xhaka (CM) - The 28-year-old turned in another solid display last weekend and has proved himself to be key in recent weeks. He's expected to continue in the starting XI.

Dani Ceballos (CM) - Thomas Partey remains out, with his fitness issues becoming slightly worrying. Ceballos is a decent alternative and should partner Xhaka in central midfield.

Martin Odegaard (AM) - The Norwegian looked lively when he came on as a substitute last weekend. Emile Smith Rowe has looked leggy in his last couple of appearances and perhaps it's time he was given a rest and Real Madrid loanee Odegaard is handed his first Arsenal start.

3. Forwards

Aubameyang could return to the starting XI having been a substitute at both Wolves and Aston Villa
Aubameyang could return to the starting XI having been a substitute at both Wolves and Aston Villa | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Bukayo Saka (RW) - Continues to be one of Arsenal's most impressive players this season despite being just 19 years old. Has made the right flank his own in recent weeks and deserves to keep his place.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (LW) - This feels harsh on Nicolas Pepe, who has impressed recently when deployed on the left wing. However, having started as a substitute in their last two fixtures, Aubameyang is likely to return to the first XI and given he scored twice when he last played at the Emirates it's probably the right call.

Alexandre Lacazette (ST) - The Frenchman continues to be key in Arsenal's build-up play and is miles ahead of Eddie Nketiah. Arteta doesn't appear to be keen on playing Aubameyang through the middle, so Lacazette should feature again.

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