After all of the madness of the transfer window, the new Premier League campaign is finally upon us! Arsenal will kick of their season with a visit to Newcastle.
With some players out injured, Unai Emery faces some difficult decisions, and may be forced to make some unfamiliar choices. To get the best out of the players currently at his disposal, we look at how his team should line up at St.James’ Park on Sunday.
In goal, Bernd Leno picks himself. Following the departure of Petr Cech, he is the only experienced goalkeeper left.
New signing David Luiz is fit and ready to start, and should slot right into the heart of the defence to be flanked by Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis. With Rob Holding still on the sidelines, these three would be the perfect combination to start as the Emirates outfit set-up in a flexible 5-4-1 formation.
Hector Bellerin is still missing, so Ainsley Maitland-Niles should take up a position at wing-back. On the other side, Sead Kolasinac would be the best choice. Kieran Tierney is also still in recovery, and so is not yet ready to play.
In the centre of the park, Emery has plenty of options. Lucas Torreira is almost certain to play, whilst Dani Ceballos could make his debut since moving on loan from Real Madrid. Granit Xhaka should be the other player in a three-man midfield.
Slightly further forward, Mesut Ozil should appear on the team sheet. Although he has been linked with a move away, he is still at the club and remains one of their most creative options. Emery has often set up with wingers in a 4-2-3-1 line-up but, with new arrival Nicolas Pepe yet to play and Alex Iwobi moving on to Everton, there is a lack of experience on the flanks, which may lead to a switch-up. Alexandre Lacazette is also doubtful and is still being assessed ahead of the match. The former Sevilla boss should not take any risks.
Up front, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should lead the line. He scored 31 goals last season and is the Gunners’ biggest threat. He is also there only fully-fit option, which makes his inclusion straightforward.