Should Arsenal rest Saka on Sunday against Leicester

Mikel Arteta refuses to give up on Arsenal’s chances of finishing in the Top Six of the Premier League table, with the Gunners just six points behind Liverpool who are currently in 6th, but he knows that his team will have to put together a good run of winning form to try and overtake the teams above us.

So, despite having just had an intense gruelling game against Benfica on Thursday, he now has to prepare the team to face high-flying Leicester, currently in Third, to try and get some winning form back in the League after only winning one of their last six.

But surely he cannnot play the same team that won in Athens, but can’t risk making wholesale changes and gifting the game to the formidable Foxes?

The name on everyones lips of course is Bukayo Saka, who has been by far our best player this season, but the 18 year-old has also played more minutes than any other outfield player. So it was no surprise that Arteta was asked if it was time to give the youngster a rest. He replied: “At some point, ideally, yes,”

“On Thursday night at some stages in the game, we were thinking about that, because you can see it.

“It is not only him, there are a lot of players who have played so many minutes, you could see the Benfica players and you could sense the fatigue and the changes they had to do straight away.

“But obviously when things go well the energy that creates sometimes overcomes fatigue, and I prefer not to talk too much about fatigue.

“If we have to rest players, we have to rest them, because we have to keep them fit as much as possible but as well you have to develop that mental toughness that you need when you are in competitions you want to win.”

So Arteta has left it open, but he could maybe put Saka on the bench and bring him on later if we are in need of a boost, but can he afford to not play his very best team from the start? Knowing that they will have a full weeks rest afterwards?

What would you do if you were Arteta?

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Tags Arteta Leicester Saka

24 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    Nobody else can play as good as Saka on the right wing, so he should start. I just wish Saka can add Mahrez’s or Messi’s fake shot trick into his skillset, then he’d be unstoppable

  2. S.J says:

    Aubameyang.

    Martinelli. Smith-Rowe. Saka.

    Xhaka. Partey.

    Tierney. Mari. Luiz. Cedric.

    Leno.

    Subs – Lacazette, Pepe, Odegaard

    1. jon fox says:

      This is almost my own choice too. Just Holding in for Luiz, Or if Holding is still concussed, then Gabriel. I don’t rate the mistake ridden Luiz. Not reliable and therefore no good.

  3. Emzy kazzy says:

    My team vs leicester would be :

    Leno
    Cedric holding luiz tierny
    Partey elneny
    Pepe Esr aubameyang
    Lacazette

  4. Mobella says:

    Someone said in the comment section of the article written by Thirdman that Arteta inherited a mess and that had me thinking if he indeed inherited a mess ( Wenger “ dross” + Emery’s £200m worth of players) then Emery inherited far worse. Why didn’t solicit patience and time for him like they are doing for Arteta now. The length some of us will go to protect Arteta. Those that deem 4th position as a failure now celebrating 11th position. Life will always surprise you.

    1. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

      @Mobella, Well thought well said.

    2. Jimmy James says:

      Emery inherited a better squad than the one Arteta inherited or the one we have now. The squad was weakened in one window in the summer of 2019 when we lost Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Welbeck, Iwobi, Cech, Leichsteiner, Mkhi, Jenkinson and Elneny was sent on loan. These were mainly replaced by young novices starting their careers and a few inexperienced players from abroad Ceballos and Pepe. The only experienced player we brought in then was Luiz. We also started that season with long term injuries to Tierney, Holding and Bellerin. it really was clear that Emery and any other manager would struggle and struggle we did. We didn’t strengthen last summer unless you think an injured Partey is strengthening the squad and we weakened the squad again in January. Hopefully following the recent clear out Arteta will bring in a few loanees and freebies this summer to strengthen us a little.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Arsenal under Emery in season 2018/19 suffered 35 injuries, including long term injuries to AMN, Welbeck, Bellerin, Holding, Koscielny, Lichtsteiner, Kolasinac, Chambers, Tierney, Martinelli, Mari and losing Ramsey for the Europa League Final. The Club finished 5th and made the Europa League Final.
        Things did not improve the following season with Emery as “head coach”, having virtually no say in transfers. In the 2019/20 season, Emery was sacked after losing 3 games in 8, with the Club in 8th position, where they ultimately finished under the management of Ljundberg and Arteta.

  5. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    If Saka is hale and hearty, he should start the Leicester match tomorrow.

  6. Danny says:

    Can’t see anything other than a Leicester win no doubt vardy will score he normally does against us cant see tomorrow being any different!! ARTETA OUT!!

    1. Son says:

      Congratulations on your upcoming win, leicester fan(aka seer)

      Mtcheeew………

  7. McLovin says:

    Saka should play. Maybe:

    ——- Auba
    Pepe – ESR – Saka
    —– Xhaka – Partey
    Tierney – Mari – Gabriel – Cedric

  8. HenKamp says:

    He should get rested. Xhaka too. This duo has racked up a ton of minutes over the last 10 games.

    Get Pepe in on the right. And El Neny to partner Partey (a partnership that worked against Man U earlier this season).

    Play only one of ESR or Odergaard in the #10 and bring Martinelli in on the left.

    It’d be tomfoolery to start Saka again and risk him picking up an injury.

    The gameplan should be to counter Leciester. That’s the kind of game they struggle against.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍 Sound assessment, as Arteta must ensure he doesn’t run young players into the ground.

  9. Durand says:

    Leno
    Cedric. Holding. Mari. Tierney
    Partey. Xhaka
    Martinelli. ESR. Pepe
    Laca

    Saka, Auba can come off the bench, and Willian too as Arteta has annoited him.

    Players HAVE to be rested to make a final push to climb the table. I fear Saka being in the red, and it’s been down to Saka’s performances that have been keeping us and Arteta afloat.

    Auba & Leno kept us afloat last year, Saka doing it this year.

  10. Dips says:

    Leno
    Bellerin, Luiz,Mari,tierney
    Cellballos, party
    Saka , Odegaard, ESR
    Aubameyang

  11. Son says:

    My team selection would be

    Leno
    Cedric—Holding—Gabriel—Teirney
    Partey—Xhaka
    Pepe—ESR—Martinelli
    Auba

    sub
    Saka(if need be)or elneny, willian and laca

    leicester should also be drained from their own EL match
    Hopefully we do the job mid day 2moro

    COYG……….

    1. Perry ames says:

      Why a rest, ask saka if he wants a rest real players want to play and fans need to grow up and stop pretending to be managers and jumping on the football bandwagon of resting players.
      Fgs they played Thursday and the next game is sunday and they have the best of the “looked after club”

  12. Shakir says:

    OT
    Is anyone watching the westbr9m brigton game

    1. Sue says:

      Yes… Lee Mason – unbelievable!!! What was he doing?? Hopeless, the lot of them, couldn’t organise a p**s up in a brewery!!

      1. Shakir says:

        Why did he give the goal in the 1st place😅

        And i still think thats a goal btw🙄

        1. Sue says:

          He looked so uncomfortable and rightly so!! I bet he’s praying Brighton score in the 2nd half 😄

          Me too, Shakir..

          1. McLovin says:

            I think he whistled too early (mistake) and then disallowed the goal (another mistake).

            Unless you can disallow goals because you as a ref made a mistake?

  13. Joe. S says:

    Without Saka we definitely won’t be able to beat Leicester, however he needs a rest before the Olympiacos game. He is one player who could tear them apart.

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