Home News report sokratis played at right back against west ham united as arsenal boss mikel arteta still has concerns over the concentration of ainsley maitland niles

Report: Sokratis played at right-back against West Ham United as Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta still has concerns over the concentration of Ainsley Maitland-Niles

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Arsenal FC v Standard Liege: Group F - UEFA Europa League

Arsenal secured their ninth Premier League win of the campaign at the expense of West Ham United on Saturday, with Alexandre Lacazette’s 78th-minute goal making all the difference.

It was another hard-fought victory for the Gunners as they maintained their unbeaten start to 2020 in the top-flight, but Wednesday’s trip to Manchester City will present them with their toughest test yet.

Boss Mikel Arteta will be more than keen to beat Pep Guardiola’s side when he returns to the Etihad Stadium for the first time since his departure as assistant manager last December, and how he sets up his side will definitely be crucial to Arsenal’s chances of shocking City.

Arteta could stick with Saturday’s starting XI, but choosing his right-back for Wednesday’s clash could prove to be a big task.

Sokratis played out of position again against the Hammers, but Hector Bellerin came in the closing minutes of the clash.

While there are still concerns over the fitness of the Spaniard, a lot of Arsenal fans were surprised to see the Greek get the nod ahead of Ainsley Maitland-Niles again.

According to The Athletic’s James McNicholas, Arteta still has concerns over the concentration of the 22-year-old.

From the look of things, though, Maitland-Niles won’t likely start against City if he can’t be trusted to play against West Ham at home.

Since starting all of Arteta’s first five Premier League games in charge of Arsenal, the Englishman’s next and last three appearances all came as a time-wasting substitute, and it remains to be seen if he can force his way back into the starting XI with the club now only challenging for a top-four finish and the F.A Cup.

Maitland-Niles has two players ahead of him in the pecking order, and while he can also play in midfield and further up the pitch, his chances of getting regular playing minutes appear very slim at the moment.

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