Arsenal team news: Expected 3-4-3 vs Man City – Thomas Partey debut decision, four changes

Arsenal face a tough test away at Manchester City on Saturday in their first game after the international break. Mikel Arteta has a decision to make over whether to hand new signing Thomas Partey his full debut. Partey is fit and available following his £45million move from Atletico Madrid earlier this month.

Partey only arrived in England on Tuesday after featuring twice for Ghana in the last week.

Arteta confirmed that the 27-year-old was only set to take part in his first training session on Thursday.

So the Spanish manager may not feel Partey has spent enough time with his new team-mates before being thrown into action at the Etihad.

Expect Granit Xhaka to come back into the starting XI after being left out of the 2-1 win over Sheffield United earlier this month.

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Arteta could switch back to a 3-4-3 formation, something he has regularly done against top opposition during his tenure at the Emirates so far.

That would leave space for either Mohamed Elneny or Dani Ceballos next to Xhaka in the middle of the park.

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Elneny may get the nod due to his defensive capabilities but Ceballos’ ability on the ball may be needed to cause City problems.

In defence Arsenal are set to receive a huge boost, with Kieran Tierney reportedly now available.

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Tierney has been self-isolating after Scotland team-mate Stuart Armstrong tested positive for coronavirus.

But The Telegraph claim evidence has been provided that the left-back did not get closer than 2.8m to Armstrong.

Tierney could therefore slot on the left of a back three, the position he has occupied most often this season.

Arteta then has the dilemma of choosing two of David Luiz, Rob Holding and summer signing Gabriel Magalhaes.

Gabriel has impressed since his £22milllion arrival but was left out by Arteta for the 3-1 loss to Liverpool last month.

The Brazilian is left-footed and therefore is unlikely to play on the right of the back three.

Arteta could play Gabriel in the middle and Luiz on the right, but he seems reluctant to do that with the former Chelsea man.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles starred against City at wing-back in the FA Cup semi-final so could get the nod over England team-mate Bukayo Saka.

Meanwhile, Alexandre Lacazette is likely to return up front in place of England under-21 star Eddie Nketiah.

Nicolas Pepe could also be handed his first Premier League start of the season after his impressive cameo off the bench against Sheffield United.

Willian has flattered to deceive since his impressive debut on the opening day against Fulham.

Arsenal possible line-up vs Manchester City

Leno, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney, Bellerin, Elneny, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang

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