Arteta explains heavy Arsenal rotation for Leicester City


MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal talks to Thomas Partey of Arsenal before making his debut during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on October 17, 2020 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Arsenal rotate heavily

Arsenal vs Leicester on the Sunday early kick off has seen The Gunners’ line-up is significantly changed in comparison to their 3-2 victory in Greece against Benfica.

Arteta has chosen to make a total of 6 changes bringing in Cedric, Pablo Mari, Mohamed Elneny, Nicolas Pepe, Willian and Alexandre Lacazette.

The notable absentees and bench sitters are Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Magalhaes, Martin Odegaard and Thomas Partey.

The latter did not start the match against Benfica but has recently returned from another significant injury whereby Arteta has looked to protect the Ghanaian international where possible and bring him back into the squad gradually.

Interestingly though, Gabriel Martinelli is still unable to make the first team line-up from the off. The Spanish coach instead preferring to choose Nicolas pepe and Willian.

The Brazilian and former Chelsea man came on against Benfica and setup Kieran Tierney’s equaliser which brought about praise from Arteta after the game.

“Hopefully Thursday’s performance is going to give him the platform and belief that he is a really important player – he is a player I really like and I did a lot to bring him in and hopefully he can still give us more,” he said.

Arteta explains decisions

Arteta has revealed that a number of fitness issues in the recovery process from Benfica has enforced many of the changes in his decision-making for Leicester’s game.

“We have had some problems in the last 48 hours to recover players. Players with some muscular issues. We got here on Friday evening and we had to freshen up ands the reality is that there are other players as well who are fighting for chances and they deserve the chance to play,” he said.

The last time Arsenal played Leicester was at the Emirates where the Foxes came away with a 1-0 victory after Arteta and his side had dominated the game for much of the match.

Arteta  mentioned that his side had set up to deal with both possible scenarios of a dominant Leicester performance or a more conservative defensive display. Much will be expected regardless of heavy change in the team.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City FC 26 36 62
2 Manchester United FC 25 21 49
3 Leicester City FC 25 17 49
4 West Ham United FC 26 9 45
5 Chelsea FC 25 16 43
6 Liverpool FC 25 11 40
7 Everton FC 24 4 40
8 Aston Villa FC 23 11 36
9 Tottenham Hotspur FC 24 10 36
10 Leeds United 25 0 35
11 Arsenal FC 25 5 34
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 25 -6 33
13 Crystal Palace FC 25 -14 32
14 Southampton FC 25 -12 30
15 Burnley FC 25 -12 28
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 25 -6 26
17 Newcastle United FC 25 -17 25
18 Fulham FC 25 -11 22
19 West Bromwich Albion 25 -36 14
20 Sheffield United FC 25 -26 11
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 17
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 15
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 13
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 13
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 13
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 13
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 12
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 11
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 10
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 10
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 9
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 9
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 9
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 9
Maddison, James Leicester City FC 8
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 8
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 8
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 8
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 8
Antonio, Michail West Ham United FC 7