Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta should revert back to a 3-4-3 formation for today’s clash with Manchester United, but needs to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left wing. That’s the opinion of Danny Murphy.
Arsenal travel to Old Trafford today in the hopes of ending United’s run of good form.
After making a poor start to the season, the Red Devils have turned on the style with some impressive results recently – most notably their 5-0 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
Arsenal, however, will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to Leicester City in the league. They breezed past Irish side Dundalk in the Europa League with a weakened team, but Arteta is expected to ring in the changes today.
Aubameyang was left on the bench against Dundalk, with some claiming he needed the rest after playing every minute of the Gunners’ Premier League campaign so far.
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Arteta has been tinkering with his side in recent weeks and seems to be finding the right formation for his side.
Aubameyang has struggled to hit top form this season and only has one goal and one assist in the league, and some have suggested he should be moved into a central role instead of the left-wing in order to unlock his ability.
But Murphy believes he should be kept on the wing, because Ainsley Maitland-Niles on the left side of midfield can create space for him to run into
“I expect Arsenal to return to the tried and trusted today,” he wrote in his column for the Daily Mail. “The 3-4-3 suits them well. Kieran Tierney is comfortable
as the left-sided central defender because he’s good on the ball and has the game in front of him.
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“He would also have the energy to get forward from wing-back but Arteta is blessed to have Ainsley Maitland-Niles or Bukayo Saka as other options in that position.
“Arsenal’s balance is better with a 3-4-3. Up front, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang benefits from having wing-backs behind him.
“In a straight 4-3-3, he has more defensive responsibility, which is not his forte.
“Maitland-Niles creates space for him and allows the forward to get into the penalty area where he’s such a fine finisher.
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“I don’t think Granit Xhaka benefits from a 4-3-3, either. It means he has to leave his comfort zone and drift wider than he’d like.
“He’s a good, technical footballer but hasn’t really got the legs, so he’s much more dependable in a midfield two alongside either new signing Thomas Partey or Dani Ceballos.
“I’ve seen it suggested Aubameyang should have a stint at centre- forward to get back on the goal trail because he hasn’t scored a league goal signing his new contract.
“I disagree, I think coming in from the left and bending those finishes is perfect for him.”
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