By Kevin Campbell

18th Nov, 2021 | 11:03am

Maitland-Niles tipped to be axed by Arsenal after early team news from Watts pre-Liverpool - Campbell

Kevin Campbell has tipped Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta to drop Ainsley Maitland-Niles for the trip to Liverpool on Saturday.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Gunners and Everton striker expects the 24-year-old to be sacrificed if Thomas Partey is passed fit to start at Anfield.

Maitland-Niles produced a man of the match performance in Arsenal’s last Premier League game against Watford.

The centre-midfielder was handed a rare start in the absence of the injured Thomas Partey.

Goal‘s Charles Watts revealed yesterday lunchtime the club are hopeful Partey will be fit to face Jurgen Klopp’s side this weekend but doubt remains.

When asked by Football Insider who would likely drop out if Partey is passed fit, Campbell said:

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“First and foremost, I think Maitland-Niles and Lonkonga were both brilliant against Watford.

“But, Partey is a different level, in all honesty. Nothing would surprise me with Mikel Arteta but I think Partey comes back in. He has to come back in for me because he has that extra bit of quality offensively.

“It will probably be Maitland-Niles that makes way. It would be a shame because he was outstanding against Watford but as I say, Partey has to play if he’s fit.”

A win at Anfield would see Arsenal leapfrog their opponents into the top four.

Mikel Arteta’s side are unbeaten in their last 10 games across all competitions.

In other news, a pundit has claimed the Arsenal board would be ‘sinful’ not to hand Arteta £65m to beat Premier League rivals to big-name signing.