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Arsenal’s Mustafi in line for Liverpool return

Arsenal will have Shkodran Mustafi back fit for
Friday’s Premier League game against Liverpool, but Arsene

Wenger would not say whether that means returning to a back-

three formation.

Mustafi has been out since limping off during the 3-1 defeat to

Manchester United, and Wenger has switched to his more

familiar back-four system in recent games with a shortage of

available centre-backs.

But he is ready to return on Friday as Arsenal look to avenge the

embarrassing 4-0 loss at Anfield in August, increasing Wenger’s

tactical possibilities.

“[Mustafi] should be fit to be available for Friday night,” Wenger

said. “I haven’t decided [the formation] yet, but the fact that we

are adaptable now to both systems [means] it will be down to

me to make the decision, do we play in a four, or in a three, or

in a five?

“I have to analyse that well. And as well, you have to guess a

little bit who will play [for Liverpool]. It’s not always the same, it

depends on their personnel. They have plenty of offensive

players, and looking at them recently, they have changed their

teams a lot. So it’s difficult to guess. But for me the most

important is that we turn up with a positive performance.”

Wenger also insisted he would not be afraid to start Ainsley

Maitland-Niles in a left-back position against Mohamed Salah,

with the 20-year-old academy product having been picked ahead

of Sead Kolasinac in the last two Premier League games.

Kolasinac started in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup win over West Ham,

but Wenger said both players are in contention against Liverpool.

“Both of them are quick and strong and good. Kolasinac will be

available for Friday,” he said.

The game will mark the return of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to the

Emirates after he joined Liverpool in a £40 million deal just days

after Arsenal’s drubbing at Anfield.

Oxlade-Chamberlain started in that game despite the uncertainty

about his future, and he was among the players who was most

heavily criticised for a lacklustre performance, but Wenger did

not want to single out that decision as his main regret from the


About MikeThePundit (738 Articles)
MikeThePundit officially Michael Imianvan is a SPORT BROADCAST JOURNALIST.... Host/Anchor of Sport Shows on TV/Radio. Biased for all things sport. #PhoneticsFreak

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