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Arsenal’s predicted starting XI against Aston Villa

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Arsenal bounced back from a difficult draw with Watford last week to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 in the Europa League on Thursday.

It was an impressive performance from the Gunners, and there were several quality displays from some of the side’s fringe players.

Unai Emery, therefore, has some decisions to make ahead of Sunday’s fixture against Aston Villa. Here, we predict his starting XI.

Emiliano Martinez started in goal in Europe, and took advantage of his opportunity by keeping a clean sheet. However, the Argentinian is likely to be the number one in the cup competitions, like Petr Cech was last season, so Bernd Leno should return to the side.

With Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin still unlikely to be ready to feature, Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles should once again line-up on either side of the back four.

David Luiz and Sokratis have not covered themselves in much glory this term, with their side conceding eight goals with them as the centre-back pairing. Considering the Brazil international is still new to the team and will need time to settle, Emery should give him another chance to prove his worth. Sokratis, though, has no such excuse, and he could be replaced by Calum Chambers, who has yet to concede this season.

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On each occasion the Emirates outfit have lined up with a 4-2-3-1 formation this term, they have ended up victorious. At home, they should be looking to take the game to their opponents with an extra offensive player. As such, two central midfielders should be selected. Granit Xhaka is one of the leaders of Emery’s squad, whilst Matteo Guendouzi remains a regular presence this season. While Joe Willock scored in midweek, we anticipate he’ll be left out.

The three behind the striker could feature a surprise. Nicolas Pepe is almost certain to line-up on the right, and Dani Ceballos should come back into the side after featuring for just 18 minutes in Germany. On the left, Bukayo Saka could make the first Premier League appearance of his career. He put on a fantastic show in the Europa League, scoring once and bagging two assists, and he deserves his chance to impress again.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s place is easily the most secure. He has scored in all but one of Arsenal’s matches so far this season, and with no other striker fit, there is no alternative even if Emery saw any need to rest him. The Gabon international, therefore, will lead the line once again.

Article title: Arsenal’s predicted starting XI against Aston Villa

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