Arsenal head to Bramall Lane to take on Sheffield United in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon. Here’s the line-up I’d like Mikel Arteta to select…
Emi Martinez will continue in goal with Bernd Leno ruled out for at least a month after suffering a knee injury against Brighton but I think we should see a couple of changes to the back four.
Kieran Tierney was forced off with severe cramp against Southampton so he shouldn’t be risked on Sunday. Sead Kolasinac can start at left-back while I’d stick with Hector Bellerin at right-back despite his disappointing form of late.
I thought Rob Holding was excellent during the win over Southampton and he definitely deserves to keep his place. Shkodran Mustafi has started Arsenal’s last three games and David Luiz is available again after completing his ban but I’d like to see Sokratis alongside Holding. Obviously Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers are still unavailable due to injuries.
Granit Xhaka made a difference after returning against Southampton. I’m not his biggest fan by any means but there’s no denying he should start in midfield right now. That’s mostly down to Arsenal’s lack of quality in the middle of the park, but Xhaka should still keep his place on Sunday.
Matteo Guendouzi’s future at Arsenal is in serious doubt after another bust-up with Arteta. His form has been poor this season anyway so he doesn’t deserve a starting spot against Sheffield United.
Lucas Torreira is set to return to training but this game comes too soon so I’d stick with Dani Ceballos in midfield. The Spaniard has been inconsistent this season but he still has the ability to be a great player on his day.
Mesut Ozil hasn’t featured since the restart but I think it’s time to reintroduce him into the team. Arsenal are badly lacking creativity and we have one of the best playmaker’s [on his day] in Europe sitting on the bench doing nothing. It doesn’t make sense, so let’s make Mesut earn some of his £350k-a-week wages.
Nicolas Pepe continues to frustrate. He showed his ability with a superb goal against Brighton but was then totally anonymous versus Southampton. However, he just needs time to find consistency and has the potential to be a match winner, so I’d keep him on the right wing.
Gabriel Martinelli has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury which is a big blow. However, I hope we see Bukayo Saka starting on the left wing tomorrow as that would free Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to start up front.
Auba does a great job out wide but he’s our best goalscorer and should be playing through the middle. Alexandre Lacazette isn’t doing enough to warrant a starting spot right now so he should be on the bench.
Eddie Nketiah got a goal on Thursday and is probably ahead of Laca in the pecking order but I’d stick him on the bench along with Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock.
Here is how I hope Arsenal line-up: