Mikel Arteta has named a strong lineup for the FA Cup third round clash with Nottingham Forest, with teenager Charlie Patino making his full debut.
Arsenal will face off against Nottingham Forest in their FA Cup third-round clash, and Mikel Arteta has decided to go with a strong starting eleven despite the availability of many fringe players.
As expected, Granit Xhaka remains out after being absent from training recently, although Emile Smith Rowe’s exclusion is a bit surprising as the 21-year-old does not feature across the matchday squad. However, under-23 stars Salah-Eddine Oulad and Omari Hutchinson have made the bench for this clash.
Bernd Leno keeps his place in goal ahead of Aaron Ramsdale, as has been the case in cup ties this season, while there are starts for Cedric Soares, Rob Holding and Nuno Tavares in the Arsenal backline. Arteta has chosen to go with Ben White instead of Pablo Mari in central defence.
? Here's how we line up in the @EmiratesFACup…
◾️ Leno starts in goal
◾️ Lokonga x Patino in midfield
◾️ Nketiah leads the line
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 9, 2022
Teenager Charlie Patino makes his full debut for the Gunners, with Arteta picking him in place of Xhaka in midfield. Albert Sambi Lokonga, who has not featured for a significant period, accompanies Patino in the middle of the park.
However, Arteta has decided to go with a strong forward line, as Bukayo Saka keeps his place on the right-wing, while Gabriel Martinelli starts from the left flank. In the absence of Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard is the best bet to reprise the no.10 role, while cup specialist Eddie Nketiah leads the line for Arsenal.
Arsenal Starting Lineup: Leno; Cedric, White, Holding, Tavares; Lokonga, Patino; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Nketiah