Five ways Arsenal can line up under Unai Emery

With Emery set to name his first competitive Arsenal XI next week, we take a look at five different ways he could set up this season.

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For Arsenal fans the appointment of a new manager provides a variety of excitements. One of the foremost ones being, what formation and lineup will the new manager prefer? 

The reality of Arsene Wenger’s long reign was that people were well aware of his managerial behaviour. Even throughout the many ups and downs of his tenure, you tended to know what XIs and formations he would pick – though he did shock the fan-base and move to a back three towards the end of 2016/17. 

On the other hand, Emery has never fielded an XI in a competitive game for Arsenal, nor has he ever been able to pick a lineup from a fully available squad. From that sense, anything is possible. 

That said, pre-season has already shown us hints of what Emery could be planning, and his managerial history has given us an indication of which systems and formations he favours. Here are five lineups that Emery could theoretically go with, along with a verdict on the strengths, weaknesses and possibility of each one being used.

Personnel assumptions

For the purposes of each lineup, certain assumptions have been made about which players Emery will pick. For example, it’s assumed Bernd Leno will be the goalkeeper, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi will be the first choice centre backs in a back four, and Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal will be the first choice fullbacks.

The different lineups are mostly a way of theorising the different systems Emery could use, rather than an attempt at guessing any surprising starters. As a result, most of the aforementioned names are taken as starting for a given, unless explicitly stated.

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