Arteta must rotate against Norwich – This is who I think will play this afternoon

With Arsenal facing two games in just three days, taking in a trip to Norwich today and then hosting Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday at the Emirates.

Despite the fact that Mikel Arteta has decidedly stuck to his first choice XI so far over the festive period, there is no doubt that the Spaniard will have no choice but to dabble in some rotation for today’s game, while preserving most of his stars for the much tougher fixture on Tuesday.

Norwich are currently being ravaged by Covid, although they have generally improved since Dean Smith took over as manager, but I am sure Arteta will feel that a lot of his backups should be able to cope with our weakened opponents.

So with that in mind, this is the team I think that Arteta could field this afternoon…..

Of course Aaron Ramsdale will play every game until he is injured, but Timoyasu came off injured at Leeds and may be saved for the Wolves game with, hopefully, Maitland-Niles replacing him, although Cedric is also a possibility.

I don’t think White and Gabriel will be broken up but Holding may come on to give one a break for Wolves.

Tavares and Tierney will probably play one game each, and I think Tavares will start today.

In midfield, Thomas Partey is likely to play until he goes to AFCON, and Arteta seems happy for Xhaka to play every game after his his ample time out through injury. And maybe Smith-Rowe will get the nod over Odegaard so the Norwegian will be fit for Wolves.

Up front, I would like to see Nketiah given another chance after his hat-trick display, with Laca and Saka down the wings.

So my choice for today is……

Ramsdale
AMN… White…Gabriel…Tavares
Smith-Rowe…Xhaka…Partey
Saka….. Laca
Nketiah

Who do you think Arteta will choose, considering the need to rotate?

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Tags Norwich City

22 Comments

  1. chapo says:

    Laca down which wings?

  2. fairfan says:

    Apparently Norwich are struggling to field 11 senior players so on paper, form and table position we “should” win. Presuming Tomi, Chambers and Lokonga out with injury or covid.
    Ramsdale
    Cedric White Gabriel Tierney
    Xhaka Partey
    Saka Odegaard ESR
    Lacazette.
    Subs. Pepe Nketia Tavares/Elneny
    Leno Niles Holding Balogun Kolasinac

    1. Oyvind Moe says:

      Is Martinelli injured?

  3. Oyvind Moe says:

    Martinelli?

  4. PJ-SA says:

    Good time to use Pepe and AMN….but I doubt we’ll see either start.

    1. Quantic Dream says:

      The games are too many too close. MA will have to use them.

  5. gotanidea says:

    Yes. Rotation does make sense, but I bet Arteta will field his key players in the away game today and play the B team against Wolves at the Emirates

    This is because the B team has just played in the League Cup game and we’ll need the key players fit to play against Man City. We should get at least six points from those three games, otherwise we might as well forget about top six

    1. fairfan says:

      Far too early to write top 6 off.
      Beating Norwich + Wolves is very much needed.
      A draw would be a bonus v City.
      6 points would be just fine even 5 points would be ok because our rivals will all drop points.

      1. ShineGunners says:

        Win for Arsenal at least 3-0 or 4-0.

        1. JW says:

          Very good guess, but you forgot the ESR factor. He always scores a goal, even as a sub.

      2. gotanidea says:

        Beating Norwich and Wolves is the standard Arteta has got to achieve after his two full years of tenure

        After playing against Man City, we still need to face Chelsea, Liverpool, Man United and Spurs. So we can’t afford to lose points from the mid-table teams

    2. foreverinourshadows says:

      If he plays the B team against Wolves who have a good record against us home and away he will lose and it will be three points from nine

      1. gotanidea says:

        Our B team would likely be more motivated against Wolves, if they play at the Emirates

    3. PJ-SA says:

      Wolves have been good this season, would be foolish to play our B team vs them. They have 25 points and Norwich has 10 points.

      If we win both games that should secure 4th spot.

      1. gotanidea says:

        The B team could mostly consist of our fringe and squad rotation players, with two or three key players to lead them

  6. ShineGunners says:

    Can rotate a few if possible. This is a must win match to show how Arsenal should be taking full 3 points when needed to make it to Top 4 – 6 at least. The next match will be tricky and the other one will be the underdog that will bite back.

    Hope those lads when given the chance enjoy Yr football and make use of it.

  7. Stephanie says:

    Looking forward to it
    I hope i have a huge grin at FT 😀

    COYG

  8. O.T.S says:

    I opine that we field our best player. We can’t undermine the threat they pose now, especially under their new manager. So, it will be best to play the in-form team of players 🤔…..
    Ramsdale
    Tomi/Nile – White – Gabriel – Tierney
    Partey – Xhaka
    Odegaard
    Saka – Laca – Martinelli.

  9. Sean Williams says:

    Ramsdale
    Tomiyasu, White ,Gabriel, Tierney
    Partey, Xhaka
    Odegaard
    Saka, Laca, Martinelli
    Why Nketiah and not Martinelli? Martinelli is young, fit and reaping havoc. He’s capable of playing two games in a few days. Against Wolves ESR for Odegaard.

  10. Durand says:

    It will be key how Arteta uses his 3 substitutions today. Start with his best in-form 11 and sub off the attackers like Laca for Nketiah, Pepe for Martinelli, and ESR for Saka.

    This way they get some rest while coming off the bench keeps the others sharp.

    1. SueP says:

      Durand,
      I am a firm believer in starting with the best in form players as you suggest The idea being, to get ahead with a decent goal cushion and then make changes. Well, that is the plan, anyway and Wolves will be no pushover either.
      There are so many tricky fixtures over the next 3 weeks. Having got to the semis of the League cup then Arteta must want to take this seriously.

    2. Sean Williams says:

      Durand
      100%

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