Arsenal XI vs Southampton: Koscielny, Monreal to Start + 8 changes made to Starting lineup

Gooner247 brings you the latest Arsenal news, match analysis, transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours from trusted media outlets around the World.

With Rob Holding (knee), Dinos Mavropanos (groin), Shkodran Mustafi (suspended and hamstring) and Sokratis Papastathopolous (suspended) unavailable, Unai Emery has a real selection headache at centre-half.

The Arsenal boss has preferred a three-man central defence in recent weeks but a lack of numbers may force a rethink, with Emery set to make a late decision on whether Laurent Koscielny is ready to start a Premier League match for the first time this season following his 72-minute run-out against Qarabag on Thursday.

Stephan Lichtsteiner and Nacho Monreal are Emery’s other options at centre-back, so a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 may instead be preferred (as it was in the second half of the win over Huddersfield) this weekend given the dearth of choice available to the Gunners’ head coach.

Alexandre Lacazette played 63 minutes of Arsenal’s Europa League dead rubber to cast his involvement from the start in doubt this Sunday, but Emery did make a point of saying that the French striker just “needs rhythm to play” and that “every player who played today can play Sunday”.
Mesut Ozil also returned to fitness against the Azerbaijani side, but a rested Alex Iwobi, Aaron Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will surely come into the thinking in whatever system Emery decides to roll out.

The manifold issues at centre-back may also persuade Emery to field an extra central midfielder in the form of Matteo Guendouzi to give protection to his defence, with the youngster having lined up alongside Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka in the engine room at the Emirates last weekend.

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Arsenal set to sign 23-yr old highly versatile defender to solve defence crisis

Gooner247 brings you the latest Arsenal news, match analysis, transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours from trusted media outlets around the World.

Arsenal have reportedly ‘registered their interest‘ with Real Valladolid for their defender, Fernando Calero.

With the January transfer window fast approaching and Arsenal running out of defenders even faster, there is the expectation that the club will move for a defender next month.

23-year-old Fernando Calero has caught the eye of several top European clubs this season, including the Gunners who have also been attracted by his reported €11m release clause.

At this point, however, it should be noted a release clause has not been confirmed.
Calero’s contract runs until 2021 after he signed a five-year deal when he signed on a free from Atletico Malagueno in the summer of 2017.

A centreback who can play left or right, the right-footed Spaniard struggles in the air so that’s something he’d certainly need to work on if he arrived at Arsenal.

Unlike many others we’ve seen play back there for Arsenal over recent times, however, Calero doesn’t struggle with concentration throughout a game and his ability to position himself in order to block shots is very good.

At this point, it’s hard to know what the club are planning.

Arsenal weren’t expected to buy anyone in this window until Danny Welbeck’s leg break. Now they find themselves also looking for a centreback earlier than expected as well after Rob Holding’s ACL injury.

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Arsenal News: Arsenal star reveals Ozil will be dropped by Emery in the coming games

Arsenal legend Paul Merson believes that Unai Emery will not start his star midfielder Mesut Ozil for the next games in the Premier League, according to the Daily Express.

The Gunners followed up an impressive 4-2 North London derby win over Tottenham and a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United in midweek with a 1-0 win over Huddersfield, as they extended their unbeaten run to 21 games.

However, Mesut Ozil has notably been missing from the last three matches, failing to come off the bench against Bournemouth, which Emery later explained was due to the physicality of the game.

He has been missing all together from the last two matchday squads with a back problem and is expected to be back in the side for the game against Tottenham.

Merson however doesn’t believe the manager will be open to making any drastic changes to his starting line-up, which would mean Ozil might not get a look in from the start.

He told Sky Sports : “ Will Mesut Ozil return for Arsenal this weekend?
“I don’t see Unai Emery bringing him back in now as Arsenal will try to play in the same vein as they did against Tottenham and Manchester United.

“Huddersfield were bang unlucky against Bournemouth and I also thought they were unlucky against Brighton with Steve Mounie’s sending off.

“However, I don’t see anything but an Arsenal win.”
Giving an update on the playmaker’s injury. Emery said: “This morning he worked with the team in full training”

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Arsenal vs Qarabag 1-0 – Highlights [DOWNLOAD VIDEO]

Arsenal vs Qarabag 1-0 Highlights Download 13 December 2018 UEFA Europa League

SUBS: Rahil Mammadov, Araz Abdullayev, Dani Quintana, Sahruddin Mahammadaliyev, Filip Ozobic, Ansi Agolli, Cosqun Diniyev.

QARABAG (5-3-2): Vagner; Maksim Medvedev, Jakub Rzezniczak, Rashad Sadiqov, Badavi Huseyov, Wilde-Donald Guerrier; Simeone Slavchev, Qara Qarayev, Michel; Mahir Madatov, Abdellah Zoubir.
SUBS: Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Nacho Monreal, Matteo Guendouzi, Charlie Gilmour, Dejan Iliev, Zech Medley, Tyreece John-Jules.

ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Emiliano Martinez; Carl Jenkinson, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Laurent Koscielny, Ainsley Maitland-Niles; Mohamed Elneny, Joe Willock; Eddie Nketiah, Mesut Ozil, Bukayo Saka; Alexandre Lacazette.

DOWNLOAD HERE

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