How Arsenal could line up against Newcastle with new formation to combat defensive crisis after Tottenham disaster

MIKEL ARTETA will be forced into a defensive reshuffle when his Arsenal side return to action on Monday night.

And by the time the Gunners travel to Newcastle they may have already been leapfrogged into fourth-place by Tottenham.

The game is a must-win for Arsenal, who will definitely be without Rob Holding after he was sent off in the 3-0 defeat to Spurs.

Fellow defender Gabriel Magalhaes meanwhile is a major doubt after limping off with a muscular problem.

That means Arteta will be forced to shuffle his pack and could name a makeshift centre-back pairing of Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu.

White was an unused sub on Thursday night despite Holding's sending off and is still working his way back to full fitness after a hamstring problem.

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Tomiyasu has been playing at left-back recently but is set to move across into the heart of defence, with Granit Xhaka a candidate to replace him.

Arteta has not started Nuno Tavares in either of the last two games, and the summer signing from Benfica could be left on the bench once again.

Cedric Soares will continue at right-back with Aaron Ramsdale in goal.

If Xhaka is indeed moved into the back four Albert Sambi Lokonga could partner Mohamed Elneny in the middle of the park.

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The front four is unlikely to change from the north London derby defeat.

But alternatively in defence, Arteta could shake things up completely and name a back three.

The Spaniard could opt to employ Xhaka in the heart of defence alongside White and Tomiyasu in order to give the Swiss international more cover.

That would likely see Tavares start at left wing-back, and Martin Odegaard drop into a deeper role in the middle of the park.

Eddie Nketiah is set to continue to lead the line, supported by Gabriel Martinelli on the left and Bukayo Saka on the right.

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