After getting back to winning ways on Saturday, Arsenal need to keep pushing for a top-four spot with another win against Brighton on Boxing Day.
Chelsea’s shock result against Leicester brought Arsenal right back into contention for the Champions League places over the weekend. The Gunners are currently only behind on goal difference, so Unai Emery’s side need to be ready to pounce on any further mistakes.
With a game against Liverpool at the weekend, Emery has a bit of a dilemma in terms of his team selection. As nice as it would be to get a result at Anfield, it’s probably better to make sure he secures the three points in midweek, rather than heavily rotating and risking dropping points in both matches.
Let’s have a look at our predicted lineup for the trip to Brighton.
1Goalkeeper and Defence
Against both Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley, Unai Emery started with a back-four, and it seems that’s the formation he currently favours. The head coach only switched to a back three on Saturday after Nacho Monreal was forced off with injury, but Laurent Koscielny should be back to take Monreal’s place after a rest.
Alongside Koscielny, Sokratis should start, after making himself look undroppable against Burnley. Shkodran Mustafi is a doubt for this one, so it’s better to save him for Liverpool. Then at left-back, it’s another easy decision, with Monreal out injured and Sead Kolasinac winning the Premier League man-of-the-match award at the weekend.
At right-back, Hector Bellerin won’t make it back in time. Stephan Lichtsteiner and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are therefore Emery’s only options, assuming Carl Jenkinson isn’t suddenly going to play his first Premier League minutes of the season.
After playing 90 minutes against Spurs and Burnley, it seems most likely that Maitland-Niles will get a rest and Lichtsteiner will take his place. In goal, Bernd Leno will almost certainly keep his spot, as usual.
Click ‘Next’ for Midfield, Forwards and the full Predicted Starting XI