Let’s hope the game’s comfortable enough to bring Pedro on one last time at some point.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The formation flip-flop continues. The WAGNH community have gone back to the 3-4-3 after it helped provide a vital win against Wolves last weekend, though the 4-3-3 (32%) isn’t too far behind.
Willy Caballero in goal. You know how the old saying goes, no Kepa (10%), no cry.
Never change a winning system, as the other old saying goes, with the voters opting to keep the same back five as last weekend. (Ed.note: Lampard often prescribes to that saying as well.) Andreas Christensen (15%) remains well out of favour and Fikayo Tomori (8%) is still just coming back from injury. And Emerson (2%) might as well be back in Italy already.
In midfield, the pivot of choice is a returning N’Golo Kanté and an in-form Mateo Kovačić. Jorginho (39%) and Ross Barkley (12%) fail to make the cut while Ruben Loftus-Cheek (9%) is unfortunately ruled out with a minor injury. It will be interesting to see if Lampard would actually go with this pairing, which he’s only done a few times all season, and not once since the 3-1 loss at Goodison in early December.
Olivier Giroud and Christian Pulisic were two of the highest vote-getters, unsurprisingly, and they are joined by the ever-present Mason Mount. Willian’s (32%) recent injury problems will have played a part in him making only the bench, while Callum Hudson-Odoi (18%) and Pedro (3%) continue to be non-factors. Meanwhile, 13 pranksters gave Michy Batshuayi (0.7%) a vote as well.
Caballero (89%) | Rüdiger (84%), Zouma (93%), Azpilicueta (96%) | Alonso (68%), Kovačić (95%), Kanté (51%), James (88%) | Mount (88%), Giroud (94%), Pulisic (96%)
Looking at Arsenal’s recent record when playing with a three at the back, they have often struggled when going up against anything with back four, so I decided to go with the 4-3-3, especially with Kanté declared fit.
I still have faith in Christensen doing a good job, and I’d rather have him than Rüdiger against a pacey Arsenal attack. Dropping Kovačić wasn’t an option. Also, I’m continuing with the Hudson-Odoi propaganda as a 3-man midfield allows Mount to drop deeper and open up that spot on the wing.
Caballero | Azpilicueta, Zouma, Christensen, James | Mount, Kanté, Kovačić | Hudson-Odoi, Giroud, Pulisic
COME ON, YOU BLUES!