After a long-awaited win at the weekend, Mikel Arteta’s side need to get a run going, so let’s take a look at our predicted Arsenal lineup vs Brighton.
Almost two months after their last Premier League win over Manchester United, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal found another with a 3-1 victory over Chelsea at the weekend.
The game was a big morale booster, but it’s also barely the first step back in the right direction. Arsenal can’t just win the occasional big game, they also need to start racking up points against the league’s lower sides.
They have the perfect opportunity to prove they’re turning a corner in the upcoming run of games against Brighton, West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace, and Newcastle.
A trip to the Amex Stadium is up first. Let’s take a look at our predicted Arsenal lineup vs Brighton.
Fresh from his penalty save against Chelsea, Bernd Leno will return to the ground where he suffered his season-ending injury last campaign to start. There’s little doubt about his position in the team right now.
Arsenal have a couple of absences at the back for this match, with Gabriel Magalhaes isolating and David Luiz unwell. As a result, we’re pretty likely to see another start for Pablo Mari, given the lack of alternative left-centre-backs.
Rob Holding will also probably keep his place on the right, unless Calum Chambers is ready to come in. Shkodran Mustafi is also available, but he hasn’t done enough to earn starts when he has had opportunities.
Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin were both excellent on Saturday and will probably start again too.
Emile Smith Rowe has to make another start in this one. The team was totally transformed by his introduction in central attacking areas against Chelsea, and he came off early enough that featuring on Tuesday is more than reasonable.
Granit Xhaka will probably also keep his spot, but the question is who Arteta pairs him with. With Thomas Partey still out, the realistic options are Mohamed Elneny, Dani Ceballos, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, or Joe Willock.
Given Arsenal are likely to spend a lot more time breaking the opposition down against Brighton, compared to Chelsea, it would be wise to swap Elneny out for one of the others.
Ceballos seems like the most sensible choice, particularly as it leaves Willock available to come on for Smith Rowe later in the game.
After their respective performances against Chelsea, and with Willian potentially absent through illness, there’s a very good chance Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka make further starts against Brighton.
Nicolas Pepe is also available, but it’s up to him to break in after the two teenagers played so well at the weekend. Like Smith Rowe, Martinelli came off early in the Chelsea match, possibly with this game in mind.
Up front, we may well see a change, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang available to return to the starting lineup.
Alexandre Lacazette took his Chelsea penalty goal well and put in a good performance overall. But after consecutive starts and with another game on Saturday, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of rotation.