Unai Emery could have a decision headache ahead of Wednesday’s all important trip to Old Trafford with Granit Xhaka set to miss the encounter due to suspension.
Following a booking in Sunday’s North London Derby, the Swiss international will now serve a one-match ban as it was his fifth sanctioning of the season.
This opens the door for either Mesut Ozil, who missed Sunday’s match against Spurs due to a back spasm, to make a return and possibly captain the team, or for Aaron Ramsey to slot into the starting XI following an excellent substitute performance in the derby.
But if Emery sticks with a back-three, as is expected, then it will be surprising to see someone like Ozil make the cut as the formation doesn’t really cater for a central number ten role.
If Ozil should come in, then it would most likely be on the right-wing in place of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was replaced by Ramsey at half-time on Sunday.
Although the Welshman has been used as a more of an attacking player this season, it would be interesting to see Ozil to operate next to Lucas Torreira in such a deep role, whereas Ramsey has played as a more defensive midfielder in the past.
The manager though has shown to keep his faith in players to keep the structure of the formation strong and then make the changes when needed.
Given the little time between Sunday and Wednesday’s clash, it will be hard to see Emery change his formation and team around, especially for a big away game like Manchester United.
It’s been 12 years since the Gunners last won a Premier League match at the Theatre of Dreams but under the new manager, they’ve proven to be a much different team than during the latter parts of the Arsene Wenger era.
And given United’s recent struggles, Arsenal might be favourites heading into the match, although one can expect José Mourinho to lift his team for the battle. However, with Ramsey battling away in central midfield, the Welshman could help Emery silence Old Trafford for Arsenal at long, long last.