The reasoning behind David Luiz replacing Rob Holding in Arsenal’s starting XI to take on Manchester City has this evening been revealed.
Man City vs Arsenal
The Gunners are currently locked in action with Pep Guardiola’s men at the Etihad.
The matchup comes as a high-profile one for a number of reasons, not least because it sees Mikel Arteta return to Manchester to face off against his former mentor.
Arsenal headed into proceedings on the back of a solid start to the campaign, having racked up 3 wins from the club’s first 4 Premier League fixtures.
Man City, on the other hand, were winless in their last two league outings, including a shock 5-2 defeat at home to Leicester.
The last time Arsenal and the Citizens went head-to-head, meanwhile, it was the former who emerged victorious, to book their spot in the final of last season’s FA Cup.
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 01: Mikel Arteta manager of Arsenal and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal pose with the trophy after the FA Cup Final match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on August 1, 2020 in London, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
As such, ahead of kick-off in Manchester, Mikel Arteta was likely quietly confident in his side’s chances of securing a positive result.
It therefore no doubt came as a considerable source of concern when, just minutes before proceedings were set to get underway, the Arsenal boss was forced to alter his starting line-up.
Upon the Gunners announcing their initial XI to take on the Citizens, Rob Holding and Gabriel Magalhaes were present at the heart of the club’s backline.
A short time later, however, it was confirmed that the former had been pulled from the Arsenal side, to be replaced by David Luiz.
And, as outlined above, the north Londoners have since provided an explanation for Holding’s late exclusion, with the stopper struggling with a hamstring issue:
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 17, 2020
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