After another international break draws to a close, Arsenal restart their club action with a match away to Bournemouth on Sunday, looking to get back to winning ways after three league draws.
Arsenal’s last Premier League win was a month ago now, a 3-1 victory against Leicester City. After that, the Gunners picked up a couple more victories against Sporting Lisbon and Blackpool. In the league though, they dropped points unexpectedly to Crystal Palace and Wolves, and perhaps just as unexpectedly managed to pick one up against Liverpool.
High-flying Bournemouth won’t prove easy opposition to turn things around against, but it’s crucial that Unai Emery’s side manage to do so, in their last league warm-up game before the North London derby.
Let’s have a look at who we expect to start on Sunday.
1Goalkeeper and Defence
In goal, Bernd Leno should keep his place, after a fantastic individual showing against Wolves. It’s only thanks to him that Arsenal’s unbeaten run didn’t come to an end, so Petr Cech will have to wait a bit longer for a return to the starting XI.
One player who is back available for Premier League starts again is Sokratis Papastathopoulos, which gives Unai Emery a bit of a selection dilemma.
Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi haven’t started a match together since Everton in September. For that reason, it seems more likely Unai Emery will opt either for Sokratis and Holding, as seen in the recent Europa League match against Sporting Lisbon, or Mustafi and Holding, as in most Premier League matches recently.
We’re going to give Sokratis and Holding the edge on this occasion, as they’ve helped Arsenal to keep clean sheets in their last three matches together.
With any luck, Emery’s selection choices at centre-back are only going to get more difficult in the coming weeks, as Laurent Koscielny and Konstantinos Mavropanos return from injury.
On the right, Hector Bellerin will start as usual. Stephan Lichtsteiner is recovering from a hamstring injury and is a doubt to even make the squad this weekend. On the left, Nacho Monreal is still being eased back from injury, and he’s currently expected to return to training in two weeks, meaning Sead Kolasinac will keep his place in the team.
Click ‘Next’ for Midfield, Forwards and the full Starting XI