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Predicted Arsenal line-up vs Leeds United, Smith Rowe returns

Is England callup around the corner for Emile Smith Rowe?

Arsenal travel to Elland Road for Saturday’s late Premier League kick-off against Leeds United.

The Gunners recently jumped to the fourth spot on the table after a resounding 2-0 win over West Ham United.

They have an excellent chance to extend their advantage with West Ham not playing this weekend.

Manchester United have also had their fixture postponed amid a coronavirus outbreak in the squad.

Formation: 4-4-1-1

Predicted Line-up:

Aaron Ramsdale has had a terrific debut season in goal for the Gunners. He kept his eighth shutout in midweek. The England international is just one clean sheet behind Alisson and Ederson in the Golden Glove race, and he is expected to start between the sticks.

Mikel Arteta has preferred to work with a stable defence this term, and no changes are likely. Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes have grown in confidence as a central defensive pairing. They look set to start together for the 15th straight league game.

Takehiro Tomiyasu stood out with his defensive display in midweek. The Japan international won five duels, and made a superb sliding challenge in the lead-up to the Gunners’ second goal. He should be an undisputed at right-back.

It should be a similar case with Kieran Tierney on the opposite end. The Scotland international has bagged two assists in three games, and he was unlucky on Wednesday. His superb long-range strike was saved by Lukasz Fabianski.

Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka are undisputed starters in central midfield when fit. The duo produced a vastly improved showing in the derby, having previously been guilty of squandering possession. They should keep their places.

Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli have been the regular pairing in the wide midfield roles lately. The latter recently started four Premier League games for the first time in his career. He has been in superb form with four goal contributions in five appearances.

The Brazilian was on the scoresheet against the Hammers with the crucial opening goal. He was substituted before the end of the game, but Arteta clarified that he was only cramping up. The pair are likely to continue in their respective positions tomorrow.

The solitary change could be in the second striker role with Martin Odegaard making way for Emile Smith Rowe. Odegaard has been in fine scoring touch with three goals in four outings, but Smith Rowe will be a serious contender to start. The £25.2m star sealed the game off the bench in midweek with an 87th-minute goal.

Arteta was non-committal when asked about Pierre-Emerick Aubmeyang’s potential return to the matchday squad. It appears likely that he could be left out for the Yorkshire trip. Alexandre Lacazette has relished the leadership role recently with key contributions.

The Frenchman netted the opening goal in the Southampton win, and replicated his showing against the Hammers with a terrific through ball for Martinelli to break the deadlock. He was disappointing with his penalty, but his workrate was superb. He is a definite starter up front.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com

Read: 23-year-old Arsenal star was the unsung hero against West Ham.

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