‘Sackable offence’ – These Arsenal fans slam one particular lineup decision from Arteta against Manchester City

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Mikel Arteta has made five changes to the Arsenal side that started the 1-1 draw against Benfica in the Europa League ahead of today’s mammoth Premier League encounter against Manchester City.

There are three changes in defence, with the centre-back pairing completely rotated as Pablo Mari partners Rob Holding against his former club, whilst Kieran Tierney returns in place of Cedric Soares.

Arteta has opted for a more defensive approach against his clinical former employers in central midfield, with Mohamed Elneny coming in for Dani Ceballos in the middle of the park.

The attacking ranks see just one change, though it’s a somewhat surprising one at that, as standout starlet Emile Smith Rowe is benched for club-record signing Nicolas Pepe.

Whilst Smith Rowe’s performances have been amazing since he broke into the side on Boxing Day for the shock win against Chelsea that turned the season, Pepe perhaps offer more of a counter threat.

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Take a look at the Gunners’ lineup below:

Here’s how some of the Arsenal faithful have reacted to Arteta’s teamsheet:

Arsenal fans will be delighted to see that their second Real Madrid loanee in Martin Odegaard has been handed his third successive start, with the Norwegian now starting to settle into the team.

Arteta shouldn’t be criticised for making some defensive-minded changes to the side, considering that Pep Guardiola’s side are on a run of 17 straight wins, they’ve been absolutely clinical in attack.

Some of the criticism towards the Elneny selection is understandable but harsh, it’s worth remembering that some of the lineup decisions will have been made with the second-leg against Benfica in mind.

More Stories Dani Ceballos Emile Smith Rowe Kieran Tierney Mikel Arteta Mohamed Elneny Nicolas Pepe Pablo Mari Pep Guardiola Rob Holding