There is no doubt that having had played our Europa League game at Bodo last Thursday, up in the cold and rainy northerm-nost tip of Norway, left our squad a little jaded for our trip to Elland Road on Sunday. The fact that Leeds had had a whole week to prepare certainly worked in their favour.
So, Mikel Arteta will want to give our jaded players a rest ahead of this weekend’s game against Southampton, but he will also have to aim to take top spot in the Group and avoid a play-off game. Right now, we are 2 points ahead of PSV, and a good win for Arsenal will give us a great chance of finishing top of the group, but will probably still need to avoid defeat in Holland.
So, Arteta has got a big dilemma to make sure we win, but keep a team fresh for the weekend. It’s a big decision to have on your mind, I bet. Who can you risk? Who is in danger of fatigue?
So I think Arteta will have to keep faith with the players that haven’t played since last Thursday, which means Turner, Holding, Tierney, Lokonga, Marquinhos, Vieira, Cedric and Reiss Nelson. That still leaves 3 gaps for the boss to fill. I think two of them could be Saliba and Gabriel to make sure we don’t concede much, and Xhaka but will that team be strong enough to overcome PSV? We will probably need a striker in there too so maybe Jesus or Martinelli could play half a game each?
Can Arteta be confident of a win with those players on the pitch?
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