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-
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
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
“[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