We go over the team news as Arsenal host Jesse Marsch’s Leeds United at the Emirates on Sunday in the first of their final four Premier League matches. The Gunners will be looking to take a big step towards Champions League qualification today, especially with their rivals Tottenham drawing 1-1 against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.
Arteta’s side won their third consecutive game with goals from Holding and Gabriel to cancel out Jarrod Bowen’s equalizer. The 2-1 win against West Ham gives them a competitive advantage and confidence boost ahead of the North London derby next week. Arsenal rewarded manager Mikel Arteta with a new three-year contract till the 2024-25 season to show their trust in the process.
Arteta commented on his new contract:
“I’m delighted because obviously from both sides we have shown a real commitment of what we want to do together in this beautiful journey and the plans and the vision that we share, that’s the reason why I’m doing it. I think the club is doing it because we share the same beliefs, the same passion and the same level of trust about each other and how we’re doing it and I’m really excited about what we can do together.”
Takehiro Tomiyasu leaving the field holding his calf during the West Ham game was scary, having made his return after a three-and-half months. However, he will be available for the Arsenal vs Leeds United game today. Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey remain long term absentees till the end of the season.
Ben White could make a comeback into the starting eleven after recovering from a hamstring injury. The defender has had an impressive first season but won’t be rushed into the lineup, especially after a man of the match performance from Holding.
For Leeds United, Liam Cooper and Bamford are out with injuries. Stuart Dallas, Forshaw and Tyler Roberts will be also missing due to injuries. The Whites will definitely have to use the transfer window to sign some players for squad depth, especially if they manage to survive another season in the Premier League. Luke Ayling could play the right-back role to deputise for Dallas and expect some fiery pace on the wings from Daniel James.
Despite failing to score, Eddie Nketiah was impressive with his playmaking and positional skills. He is likely to keep his place ahead of Alexandre Lacazette. With Emile Smith Rowe rested against West Ham, he could be involved in this game to provide support to Saka and Nketiah down the wings.
Leeds United Form:
No suspensions in the Arsenal team this week.
Arsenal Probable Line-up Against Leeds United (4-2-3-1):
Aaron Ramsdale (GK); Takehiro Tomiyasu (RB), Rob Holding (CB), Gabriel (CB), Nuno Tavares (LB); Granit Xhaka (CDM), Mohamed Elneny (CDM); Bukayo Saka (RW), Martin Odegaard (CAM), Emile Smith Rowe (LW); Eddie Nketiah (ST)
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Arsenal 3-0 Leeds United
Arsenal did not give their best performance at the London Stadium against West Ham but had the clinical edge to get a win. They have performed below par against bottom-half sides with the likes of Crystal Palace and Southampton.
Leeds provide an opportunity to break the trend, having the worst defensive record this season. Especially with injuries to key players in significant positions, we can expect Arsenal to get through that fragile defence easily. The prediction is Nketiah, Saka and Odegaard to score for Arsenal in a comfortable 3-0 win to steal further ground on top four. This will be the ideal opportunity to move four points clear of Tottenham.
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