PREDICTED XI: Rafa to ring the changes at Arsenal tomorrow? Here’s SEVEN he could well make

With two defeats in a week, somethings got to change at Arsenal tomorrow, and I fully expect Rafa to rotate and drop a few following the disappointing defeat to Everton just 48 hours ago.

Here’s the team and the SEVEN changes we think he could make:

Darlow OUT – Elliot IN?

After two unconvincing displays and two costly errors in against Leicester and Everton, Darlow has to make way here. We’re not blessed with top goalkeeping options, but Elliot is our most reliable keeper (and character) to have in goal right now. Darlow seems to just go when his confidence takes a knock.

Lejeune OUT – Clark IN?

Lascelles’ return will be a real help, but he can only do so much if those around him continue to make silly mistakes. Lejeune has looked shaky recently and looked highly suspect against an Everton side that didn’t even throw much at us. I believe he’ll come good, but I’d like to see Clark back in for this one.

Manquillo OUT – Mbemba/Dummett IN?

At full back, the return of Dummett at left back would be a real boost, but it remains to be seen if he’s ready. Given how fans have criticised him as one of our weak links in the past, this perhaps highlights just how lacking in quality we are? If he’s out, I prefer Mbemba in at left back to Manquillo, and think that might happen for rotations reasons – even if Chancel wasn’t in the squad on Wednesday!

Shelvey OUT – Hayden IN?

Shelvey is now banned following his red against Everton and with Diame’s form in mind and our lack of other options, I can’t see beyond Hayden returning against his old club

Diame OUT – Perez IN?

Diame had a shocker in midweek and will almost certainly be dropped. Perez to come in at number 10 looks highly likely.

 Atsu OUT – Murphy IN?

Out wide I wouldn’t be surprised if Murphy is recalled to give us an option on the counter. He’s proven in recent weeks that he can run at teams and create a little bit of something from nothing. Atsu could be rested after playing the full 90 in his first game back for several weeks on Wednesday.

Gayle OUT – Joselu IN?

I’m fully expecting Joselu to return – for rotation reasons and the fact he’ll also be fresh to defend from the front. Gayle is our best finisher, so I’d like him on the pitch to gobble up and half chance we might get (as he did in similar trips to Man Utd and Chelsea recently), however he was sloppy on Wednesday and couldn’t get into the game. Whether that was mainly due to his last of support or inability to play as a lone striker is another matter, mind.


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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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