Home sports Arteta considering Maitland-Niles for Arsenal starting XI spot in FA Cup final

Arteta considering Maitland-Niles for Arsenal starting XI spot in FA Cup final

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Arteta considering Maitland-Niles for Arsenal starting XI spot in FA Cup final


Mikel Arteta is considering handing an FA Cup starting place to Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Gunners boss Arteta is faced with a defensive dilemma with Shkodran Mustafi out which means he may use Kieran Tierney as one of his three centre halves and use Maitland-Niles as a left wing back.

Arsenal midfielder Maitland-Niles was one of the heroes of the semi final win over Manchester City and also played in their final game of the season against Watford.

Arteta must also decide between record £72m signing Nicolas Pepe and teenage prospect Bukayo Saka who is also another option at left wing back.


Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil will play no part in the final and has spent the last few days in Turkey after being informed of this.

Other defensive options Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers are also out with ankle and knee complaints respectively and former Southampton man Cedric Soares is cup-tied to the Saints and cannot feature.

Arsenal will also miss Gabriel Martinelli, who has shone in the cup competitions this season but is out with a long-term knee injury.

No.1 goalkeeper Bernd Leno has recovered from a knee injury sustained in the 2-1 defeat to Brighton in the Premier League last month. However, Arteta has confirmed in-form shot-stopper Emiliano Martinez will continue between the sticks.

Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is set to start with N’Golo Kante who trained on Friday but faces a dilemma with Willian who has just returned but Ruben Loftus-Cheek is out through injury.

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Arsenal probable starting XI: Martinez; Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Tierney, Maitland-Niles; Xhaka, Ceballos; Pepe, Aubameyang; Lacazette.

Chelsea probable starting XI: Caballero; James, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma, Alonso; Kante, Kovacic; Mount, Pulisic, Giroud.

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