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Aaron Ramsdale starts, Smith Rowe starts but Mikel Arteta made a bold decision by dropping brilliant star to the bench

Aaron Ramsdale starts, Smith Rowe starts but Mikel Arteta made a bold decision by dropping brilliant star to the bench

Prior to Arsenal’s victory over Bournemouth at the weekend, Mikel Arteta may have kept everyone in the dark about player fitness, but his lineup selection was foreseeable.

This is a first for the Arsenal boss this year, as he started the North London Derby against Tottenham Hotspur six days earlier. The main difference was that his team played more ruthlessly to win all three points.

The following UEFA Champions League match for Arsenal is in Ligue 1 versus RC Lens. However, one might anticipate Arteta to make some adjustments to ensure the team stays fresh with the heavyweight match against Manchester City quickly approaching.

He has Takehiro Tomiyasu, Jakub Kiwior, Emile Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson, Fabio Vieira, and perhaps Thomas Partey to fall back on on Tuesday night. Journalists Tashan Deniran-Alleyne and Kaya Kaynak from Football.london are on hand to help with any issues. Their respective starting lineups for Arsenal’s game against RC Lens have been announced.

Kaya Kaynak – Chief Arsenal Writer

If I were Mikel Arteta, I’d want to rotate as much as possible with Manchester City coming up. To start, I’d prefer Aaron Ramsdale to David Raya in goal, primarily to save the Spaniard’s stamina for Sunday but also to keep the England international active.

Takehiro Tomiyasu should start in Oleksandr Zinchenko’s place, just to be safe. The Ukrainian will be essential to defeating City in the midfield battle, therefore I think it’s crucial to keep him as rested as possible. I’d start with the standard back four, but if at all feasible, I’d try to use Jakub Kiwior as a substitute for the entire 90 minutes.

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It seems premature to start Thomas Partey in midfield, and given that Declan Rice is still recovering from a back issue, this might be a game where you start Jorginho. To keep Martin Odegaard fresh for City, I’d also start Emile Smith Rowe instead of Martin Odegaard and bring back Fabio Vieira.

I wouldn’t risk Bukayo Saka, to start. Give Leandro Trossard some playing time now that he is fit to get him involved and up to speed for City. In the meanwhile, I’d stick with the front three of Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Jesus, and the excellent Bournemouth performance.

Kaynak’s Arsenal XI vs Lens: Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Jorginho, Smith Rowe, Vieira; Trossard, Nketiah, Jesus.
Deniran-Alleyne’s Arsenal XI vs Lens: Raya; White, Tomiyasu, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Jorginho, Odegaard, Havertz; Fabio Vieira, Jesus, Trossard

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