Arsenal will aim to return to winning ways when they face Brighton away at the AMEX Stadium this Saturday afternoon.
Mikel Arteta’s men resumed their league campaign with a damning 3-0 defeat at Manchester City. That defeat keeps them eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with nine games to play.
This weekend, they will face a Brighton side who will play for the first time since March, so, we can expect the Seagulls to be a bit rusty going into the game.
For Arsenal, the club officials confirmed that Pablo Mari is out for the season after injuring himself on Wednesday. Granit Xhaka is a major doubt for the remaining games too.
David Luiz is suspended after picking up that silly red card against City, so he too won’t be available. Lucas Torreira and Sokratis are also doubts ahead of the game.
All that being said, here’s how we think Arteta might line his team up at the AMEX:
GK - Bernd Leno
Leno is Arsenal’s number one keeper and should be in goal this weekend. He had a great game on Wednesday, despite conceding three goals.
RB - Hector Bellerin
Bellerin is fit and should continue to patrol the right-back area. Though, more will be expected from the club vice-captain when he takes the field on Saturday after a sombre display against City.
CB - Shkodran Mustafi
With Luiz and Mari out, Mustafi is Arsenal’s first-choice centre-back now. The German international is certain to start against Brighton.
CB - Rob Holding
Arteta does not have a lot of options remaining in the centre-back position other than starting Holding alongside Mustafi.
The Englishman wasn’t even in the squad on Wednesday. He needs to play well to regain his place back.
LB - Kieran Tierney
Tierney looked good in spells against City, which was a positive sign for the Gunners going forward. The Scotsman is in line to start at left-back this weekend.
CM - Matteo Guendouzi
With Torreira and Xhaka out, Guendouzi is set to be one of the central midfielders for Arsenal in this game. The youngster needs to perform better than his teammates did on Wednesday in order to hold the midfield together for the Gunners.
CM - Dani Ceballos
Ceballos might have a big role to play in the coming games with other senior players out. He needs to do well though, starting from Saturday.
RW - Nicolas Pepe
Pepe did not even play a single minute of football against City. He is expected to get a place in the starting XI, with his replacement Reiss Nelson not doing enough on Wednesday.
CAM - Mesut Ozil
For some “tactical” reason, Ozil wasn’t even included the matchday squad in the midweek. However, if Arsenal are to create chances in the final third against Brighton, the former German international must start.
LW - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Captain Aubameyang had a weird game against City. He worked hard and made some great runs off the ball, his teammates were just not in sync with him.
He is set to lead the team out in the weekend, hoping to get better service in the final third.
ST - Alexandre Lacazette
Arteta gave Eddie Nketiah a start up front on Wednesday and it didn’t pay off. So, we predict the manager to hand Lacazette a place to lead the attack for Arsenal.