Mikel Arteta should start Takehiro Tomiyasu in defence if Gabriel Magalhaes is sidelined

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta should start Takehiro Tomiyasu in defence against Manchester City if Gabriel Magalhaes is ruled out of the Premier League game.

The Gunners are currently top of the standings with 64 points and they will be aiming to maintain their position with a victory over Pep Guardiola’s side on the road.

Ahead of the Sunday showdown, the club are still uncertain over the fitness of Gabriel, who has been managing an ongoing Achilles issue, as per Ben Dinnery.

In today’s press conference, Arteta revealed that Gabriel, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli have yet to train after respective injuries, but could still make the game.

The trio will most likely be assessed in the final training session tomorrow. A late fitness test could be conducted to find out whether they can be involved on Sunday.

If Gabriel is sidelined, we believe the manager should pick Tomiyasu in the starting XI.

The Japan international has the ability to play anywhere in the backline but in our view, he should start at left-back with Jakub Kiwior partnering William Saliba in central defence.

Tomiyasu has become somewhat of a forgotten figure after his recent calf injury, but the 25-year-old would provide the right balance in attack and defence from left-back.

Compared to Oleksandr Zinchenko, the €30 million-rated star has better concentration and positioning. He has been dribbled past just 0.2 times per game compared to Zinchenko’s 0.7.

He has also been dispossessed less number of times than the Ukrainian and is much better in one-on-one situations. There could plenty on Sunday with Phil Foden in fine form.

Zinchenko is obviously better with his ball carrying ability, but this weekend’s game could be tactically fought. The Ukrainian could be a potential weak-link if he were to start.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com

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