Arsenal are in a tight spot, and Leicester City won’t make it any easier. Here is how Unai Emery will deploy in an attempt to salvage some face.
Arsenal, Unai Emery (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)
Unai Emery has to be feeling the pressure. He has to know that his job is on the line. After so many successive efforts that have been, in a word, paltry, there isn’t much else to say. The only positive he can hold to his name is thatArsenalaren’t losing matches, they are just drawing winnable matches.
Vitoria was just the latest feather in his cap. A 3-4-3 that was so woefully undermanned and overwhelmed by a Vitoria side that, let’s be honest, is levels below where the Gunners hope to be. Yet they pulled off a 1-1 draw after barely missing out on more points atthe Emirates, whenNicolas Pepehad to save the Gunners’ cause with two excellent free kick goals right at the end.
While I have been incredibly doubtful of Emery’s willingness to change things, the closer to pure desperation he gets, the more I wonder if he might stumble on the winning combinations we’ve been begging him for.
Of course, seeing a 3-4-3 against Vitoria with such a bizarre mix of players was a little disconcerting, because it felt further from the plot than he had already been. But by my logic, that means that he may snap back to the other end of the spectrum, which might mean better, more sensible changes in the Premier League.
Hey, all of this is pointless without optimism, right? As long as Emery is here, might as well believe in his ingenuity. We saw a lot of it last year.
The one injury concern for the Gunners isDani Ceballos, who is doubtful. This isn’t stressing me out nearly as much as I thought it would.
Elsewhere,Granit Xhaka‘s involvement is still a question mark, as no one is quite sure when he will be back… or if, if he’s on his way out.
The way I see it, expect a 4-2-3-1 formation as usual. However, contrary to the usual, I’m expecting some promising changes, even if I’m not sure why. So let’s dig in to the starting XI, starting at the back.
Bernd Lenostarts. Go figure.
On to the defense.