Arsenal recently begun their pre-season tour of the United States with a solid 3-0 win over Colorado Rapids. The game saw the involvement of a number of young players including summer signing Gabriel Martinelli, who bagged the third goal with a lovely chested finish.
Despite this, manager Unai Emery is likely to opt for an experienced lineup against Bayern Munich on Thursday, considering most of the seniors only played through the final 15 minutes of the convincing triumph over Colorado.
Arsenal won’t be able to bank on the services of Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding, who remain on the sidelines recovering from their long-term injuries. Meanwhile, Lucas Torreira, Mohamed Elneny, Matteo Guendouzi and Alex Iwobi are not present with the squad after their recent commitments with their national teams while club-captain Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel for the pre-season tour.
Matt Macey was impressive between the sticks against Colorado where he kept a clean sheet. However, the club’s first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno should be fancied to return in goal for the clash against the German champions.
In the defence, a complete overhaul could be witnessed from the opening pre-season game and we are predicting starts for Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis at the heart of the backline with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sead Kolasinac slotting into the right and left-back positions respectively.
In the midfield, Granit Xhaka should be a certainty to start, given the club are without three other senior midfielders due to their recent international exploits. Alongside the Swiss, Joe Willock should feature, and the young graduate has the opportunity to prove that he can be a quality rotation option for the club next term.
Further forward, Mesut Ozil may feature in the number 10 role, where he has been the most comfortable during his career. The Germany international has recently hit the headlines for dying his hair blonde and hopefully, that can bring about a change in fortunes after a disappointing 2018/19 season.
Meanwhile, Reiss Nelson could be offered the right wing-role after sitting out the recent friendly against Colorado. On the other opposite flank, last season’s top-scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seems a certainty to start while Alexandre Lacazette should be tasked with leading the line.
Predicted Arsenal lineup: Bernd Leno, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulous, Sead Kolasinac, Granit Xhaka, Joe Willock, Mesut Ozil, Reiss Nelson, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette
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