Connect with us

Team Line-up

FA CUP: Arsenal vs. Southampton: Predicted Lineup & Bench

Published

on

Welcome back to the FA Cup. If you are like me, you continue to love this cup competition.

Not only because Arsenal are the current Cup holders and have a long winning history in it, but because of the nature of the knock-out style format, the chance to potentially see more players from the squad, and the slate of matches all weekend long featuring teams from the various divisions. Yes, as the Cup progresses it switches from pulling for the upsets (except when they play Arsenal) and into mostly top Premier League side battling it out, but the Fourth Round still has plenty of magic heading into the weekend.

Thirty-two clubs remain, including two from League Two and Chorley FC from the National League North (the sixth division). In fact, if Chorley can upset Wolves, Arsenal may be heading there for the Fifth Round. But first, the Gunners travel to face Southampton. The Saints saw off League One side Shrewsbury Town 2-0 last round. Arsenal will be back at the St. Mary’s Stadium on Tuesday for a Premier League match, so how might Mikel Arteta use the squad across the two games?

Arsenal have made progress on reducing the size of the senior squad this January window. Mesut Ozil and Sokratis have exited and third keeper Matt Macey joined Hibernian this month. With a limited injury list (which hopefully continues) and a few January transfer targets, might we see more exits? If Mustafi is sold, I’d expect Chambers to remain and vice-versa. I can’t see Arsenal letting 3 CBs go this window with Saliba back out on another loan. The other name that we may see move could be a half-season loan for Reiss Nelson, who hasn’t found significant playing time while watching fellow youngsters Saka, Willock, and Smith Rowe have continued to step forward this season.

Hot News!!   Floppy Havertz backed to silence ‘nonsense’ critics at Chelsea

For now, we can focus on the primary contributors in this squad and the upcoming FA Cup tie this weekend.

Predicted XI

Bench

Alexandre Lacazette
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Bukayo Saka
Emile Smith Rowe
Granit Xhaka
Thomas Partey
Kieran Tierney
Rob Holding
Alex Runarsson

  • Left Out: Dani Ceballos, Reiss Nelson, Calum Chambers, Shkodran Mustafi & Cedric Soares
  • Out: Pablo Mari (calf issue)
    Just like with the Newcastle series, I’d expect both squads to rotate to a 2nd string or 1B lineup for Saturday and then return to their first choice selections on Tuesday for the Premier League. Luckily Arsenal have plenty of options if Arteta wants to heavily rotate.
  • I’ve brought in a brand new front six. Pepe, Willock, Willian, Elneny, and Martinelli seem like safe picks for Arteta to bring in — even if those who played in the last FA Cup failed to find the breakthrough. Up top, it’s time we see Eddie Nketiah again, or else potentially consider that the club is looking to loan him for the back half of the season. The last time Eddie started was a month ago in the loss to Everton. The last time he scored was on December 10th against Dundalk.
  • In the midfield, I’d consider Partey and Xhaka as the starters for the next Premier League match. Toss in Ceballos once fully cleared as the primary options for the midfield duo moving forward. Thus it makes sense to start Elneny and Willock once again in the Cup. If the team is struggling any of those three can be brought in during the second half or push Willock into the #10 role if one of the attacking line is having an off night.
  • The backline brings up some interesting selection choices. First, Leno, Maitland-Niles as the backup left-back, and giving Gabriel a start seems fairly straightforward. His center-back partner? With Mari out and wanting to save Holding for the league match, will Arteta give Chambers (one start and one substitute appearance since his return from injury) the surprising start? Or is Mustafi still in contention and expected to stay at the club for the remainder of the season, despite being left out of the squad this entire month? If both answers are no, I’d favor using David Luiz once again over Holding.
  • Could we see Bellerin start after being on the bench the last match? Or will Cedric get two starts in a row? It was one of Cedric’s better halves as Arsenal closed out Newscastle on Monday, but you’d have expected Cedric in the Cup and Hector in both league matches. Or perhaps Bellerin just needed a rest and will start both games against Southampton. For now I’m opting for the last option.
  • That’s a very attacking bench, with any of those, minus Runarsson, options to start. But looking at the lineup, bench, and short injury list, it goes to show just how many players Arsenal still have. Five senior players still miss out despite the expanded bench, which should lead us to expect more departures before February 1st.
Hot News!!   [READ] Why Ozil Is Not A Good Guy - Arsenal legend Liam

How to watch
Saturday (1/23) at 7:15 am ET / 4:15 am PT on ESPN+.

er
 

Last 24-hours

Injury Update

Transfer News

Featured3 weeks ago

Bayern munich star Robert Lewandowski speaks on Possible move to Chelsea

Bayern Munich goalscoring sensation Robert Lewandowski has refused to rule out the prospect of leaving the German heavyweights, insisting he...

Post-Match4 weeks ago

How much chelsea will make if the win against man city

Victory against Manchester City in the Champions League final on Saturday night will be worth more than £95m in prize...

Transfer News2 months ago

Transfer: Thomas Tuchel wants Chelsea to sign this PSG key player

Thomas Tuchel has reportedly asked the Chelsea board to get Marquinhos from PSG. The German manager is eager to reunite...

Transfer News2 months ago

Chelsea target these 3 big name players ahead of 2021/2022 season

We keep hearing that Chelsea are expected to be quite busy again in the transfer market this summer as the...

Transfer News2 months ago

Dortmund Director Claims Haaland Has Already Made A Decision On His Future

Borussia Dortmund director Sebastian Kehl has said that Erling Haaland intends to stay at the Bundesliga club beyond the end...

Transfer News2 months ago

TRANSFER: £105 million La Liga superstar OFFICIALLY opens door to Chelsea and Premier League move

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper and Chelsea target Jan Oblak has left the door open to a possible Premier League move. Oblak...

Transfer News2 months ago

Who To Sign? – Chelsea on the hunt for a new left back, with two names mentioned

Chelsea could still end up losing both Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri this summer as the pair could well look...

Transfer News2 months ago

Tuchel and Chelsea target La Liga defender with €35m release fee.

Chelsea are plotting a €35 million swoop for Villareal left-back Alfonso Pedraza, according to the latest reports. Marcos Alonso and...

Transfer News2 months ago

TRANSFER: Chelsea keen on to agree deal for 20-year-old Man City star

Arsenal and Chelsea are reportedly considering to hijack Eric Garcia’s proposed move to La Liga giants Barcelona after the Catalans...

Transfer News2 months ago

“Thomas Tuchel wants him’ Reports Claims Chelsea Are interested in Nigerian International Kelechi Iheanacho

Chelsea are one of three Premier League teams who are pursuing Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho, according to Fichajes.net. The...

Trending