Three ways Arsenal can line-up vs Norwich as Mikel Arteta faces major Emile Smith Rowe decision – Football.London

Arsenal will be hoping to make it four Premier League wins on the bounce today as they take on Norwich City at Carrow Road.

The Gunners had secured back-to-back home wins against Southampton and West Ham before they took on Leeds United at Elland Road last weekend, defeating the Yorkshire-based club 4-1.

Two goals from Brazilian youngster Gabriel Martinelli were followed by efforts from Hale End academy graduates Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka as the Gunners put some daylight between them and the aforementioned Hammers, who currently sit in fifth place.

Here, football.london brings you three potential ways Mikel Arteta could lineup against Norwich as the Spaniard continues his quest for a top-four finish.

Unchanged XI

Arteta named an unchanged lineup in each of Arsenal’s last four Premier League fixtures, opting to give his side a chance to redeem themselves following their 2-1 defeat against Everton earlier this month.

Controversy surrounding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has allowed Alexandre Lacazette a chance to spearhead the attack, with the Frenchman supported by young trio Martinelli, Saka and Martin Odegaard.

The midfield pivot of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey has looked more assured recently and the north Londoners will greatly miss the latter when he departs for the Africa Cup of Nations in the coming weeks.



Mikel Arteta could name an unchanged starting XI against Norwich City. (Picture - Chosen11)
Mikel Arteta could name an unchanged starting XI against Norwich City. (Picture – Chosen11)

The back five of Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Benjamin White, Gabriel Magalhaes and Kieran Tierney picks itself at the minute, conceding just once in the last 270 minutes of league action.

Smith Rowe return

Arsenal’s main decision is whether to reinstate Smith Rowe back into the starting XI or not considering his excellent exploits in front of goal.

The 21-year-old netted off the bench against both West Ham and Leeds as he leads the club’s goalscoring charts in the Premier League, netting seven already this term.



Mikel Arteta could recall Emile Smith Rowe against Norwich City. (Picture - Chosen11)
Mikel Arteta could recall Emile Smith Rowe against Norwich City. (Picture – Chosen11)

However, it seems an impossible decision to drop any of the front four at this moment in time. Lacazette is needed in attack to link the play together whilst Martinelli has bagged four goals and two assists in his last six outings for the club.

Similarly, Odegaard and Saka are both in a rich vein of form, although the latter may be in need of a rest considering he has played more minutes than any of the aforementioned attacking quintet.

Attacking set-up

One way that Arteta could get all five of Arsenal‘s forward players into the same lineup is by deploying a 4-1-4-1 system that he has previously utilised, consisting of Smith Rowe and Odegaard as two ‘roaming no.8s.’

The Gunners opted to go with this formation during September’s 1-0 win against Burnley, with Odegaard netting a stunning winner from a free-kick.



Mikel Arteta could utilise a 4-1-4-1 formation against Norwich City. (Picture - Chosen11)
Mikel Arteta could utilise a 4-1-4-1 formation against Norwich City. (Picture – Chosen11)

Elsewhere, Partey would anchor the midfield, sitting deep to mop up any loose balls, giving Xhaka a much-needed rest ahead of a busy winter period.

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Ainsley Maitland-Niles could also be handed a chance at right-back if Tomiyasu isn’t completely fit, with the Japanese international substituted against Leeds as Arteta admitted he was struggling with a knock.

“No it was more a muscular issue,” Arteta admitted when asked why the 23-year-old came off. “Obviously, he’s got a big load on him.

“He’s played every single minute since he joined us and even this week he’s been a little bit struggling. So we decided to take him off, he wasn’t 100% confident to continue in the game and hopefully he’s not injured.”

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