Friday, September 29, 2023

Mikel Arteta bemuses Arsenal fans with tactical change for Premier League opener against Nottingham Forest

Arsenal fans were left scratching their heads at Mikel Arteta’s starting XI for the Premier League opener against Nottingham Forest.

The Gunners boss made one change from the Community Shield victory over Manchester City as striker Eddie Nketiah came in for defender Gabriel Magalhaes.

Nketiah got the nod at the EmiratesGetty

Arteta has been using a 4-3-3 formation in preparation for the 2023/24 season and Arsenal are expected to keep that shape on Saturday.

That means midfielder Thomas Partey looks set to start at right-back as Ben White moves into central defence.

Meanwhile, Kai Havertz could slot into midfield to create space for Nketiah in the No.9 role.

It is not clear whether Gabriel is injured but fans did not expect such a dramatic tactical reshuffle.

One supporter said on Twitter: “This team is going to look weird.”

Another wrote: “What’s Partey doing at the back when we have Kiwior?”

A third tweeted: “That one change is tactically a huge one.”

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