Arsenal probably face Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday, assuming the higher-ups don’t suspend all domestic fixtures by then.
At the time of writing, some Arsenal players are actually self-isolating following their contact with Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis, who has since tested positive for coronavirus. The league called off Arsenal’s midweek game for that reason.
Brighton and Arsenal insist this weekend’s game is going ahead though. The players should rejoin training tomorrow, and none of them are actually showing any symptoms of the virus.
Arsenal have a full week off after this weekend, so there’s no need to rest or rotate. Assuming the match takes place, let’s have a look at our predicted lineup away to Brighton.
Bernd Leno will keep his place, after his excellent performance last weekend. It could be his last match before the international break, as Emi Martinez takes the Sheffield United fixture. That’s assuming none of the rearranged games pop up next midweek.
It’s starting to reach the point where we may well see Kieran Tierney or Cedric Soares making their first appearances after injury. I still feel it’s more likely they’ll make the bench first though, rather than throwing them straight into the action.
Shkodran Mustafi is closer to a comeback of his own, but Pablo Mari and David Luiz are the starting centre-back partnership at the moment.
Sead Kolasinac and Calum Chambers are still out, leaving Bukayo Saka to play left-back and Hector Bellerin at right-back. Sokratis Papastathopoulos is another option at right-back, and it’s not impossible he’ll start. My feeling is Arteta will pick Bellerin though.
It’s hard to see past the standard midfield, especially now they’ve had a few days extra rest. That’s Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos and Mesut Özil, with Lucas Torreira probably out for the season.
Joe Willock and Matteo Guendouzi are both options as well, I just can’t see either starting.
Alexandre Lacazette should return to the team after his goal off the bench at the weekend. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will start on the left, as his partnership with Saka is one of the few things actually getting Arsenal goals.
Nicolas Pepe should start, though Reiss Nelson also has a shot. It’s hard to see Gabriel Martinelli or Eddie Nketiah finding a way in, simply because they have to displace Aubameyang and Lacazette.