View the official starting XI here as well as details on why Gabriel is missing

Still in search of their first Premier League win since the start of November, let’s take a look at our predicted Arsenal lineup vs Chelsea.

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta reacts during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on December 19, 2020. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta reacts during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north-west England on December 19, 2020. Arteta will go strong in our predicted Arsenal lineup vs Chelsea (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

After a comfortable defeat to Manchester City in the League Cup on Tuesday, Arsenal only have the Premier League to worry about for the next few games.

That might be a good thing, because the league is becoming a genuine concern. Arsenal are dropping further and further down the table, to the point where they could be in the relegation zone on January 1st.

Chelsea aren’t exactly the ideal opponents to arrest that dreadful run of form, but a result against them would certainly build a bit of confidence. Here’s our predicted Arsenal lineup vs Chelsea for Saturday’s Boxing Day match.

Goalkeeper

Arsenal's German goalkeeper Bernd Leno makes a save during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on November 22, 2020. (Photo by Michael Regan / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s German goalkeeper Bernd Leno makes a save during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on November 22, 2020. Leno makes a welcome return in our predicted Arsenal lineup vs Chelsea. (Photo by Michael Regan / POOL / AFP)

If there were any doubts about Mikel Arteta’s first-choice goalkeeper before the game in midweek, there aren’t anymore. Bernd Leno will return to the starting lineup, and you’d imagine the only reason he’d drop out from now on would be a fitness problem.

Defence

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: Kieran Tierney of Arsenal reacts during the Heads Up FA Cup Final match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on August 01, 2020 in London, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Kieran Tierney of Arsenal reacts during the Heads Up FA Cup Final match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on August 01, 2020. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Arteta’s usual back-three of Kieran Tierney, Gabriel Magalhaes, and Rob Holding will probably continue to make the starting lineup on Saturday.

The only realistic alternatives are either David Luiz or perhaps Calum Chambers playing his first Premier League game since he faced Chelsea last December pre-injury. But Holding was rested on Tuesday and I just can’t see Arteta dropping Gabriel for this one.

Midfield

Referee Graham Scott shows the red card to send off Arsenal's Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka (R) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Burnley at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 13, 2020. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP)
Referee Graham Scott shows the red card to send off Arsenal’s Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka (R) on December 13, 2020. With Xhaka’s suspension over, he makes our predicted Arsenal lineup vs Chelsea (Photo by Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP)

Granit Xhaka is back from suspension, and much as he’s an unpopular figure amongst Arsenal fans at the moment, I think he’ll start.

It’s not as if Mohamed Elneny and Dani Ceballos were particularly impressive in Xhaka’s absence, Ainsley Maitland-Niles was disappointing, and the one midfielder in good form – Emile Smith Rowe – keeps getting ignored for no reason.

Ceballos will probably make the lineup alongside Xhaka, as he did in the cup final win over Chelsea last season.

In the wing-back positions, I’d expect Bukayo Saka and Hector Bellerin. Both got a complete rest in midweek.

Forwards

Arsenal's French striker Alexandre Lacazette (2R) scores the equalising goal during the English League Cup quarter final football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium, in London on December 22, 2020. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette (2R) scores the equalising goal during the English League Cup quarter-final football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium, in London on December 22, 2020. Lacazette makes our predicted Arsenal lineup vs Chelsea. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still an injury doubt and Gabriel Martinelli’s knock in midweek, it’s hard to imagine either of them starting this match. Hopefully, Martinelli makes the squad, at least.

Reiss Nelson’s situation is also a bit of a mystery, as he seems to be fit but just not featuring. Eddie Nketiah is available, but Alexandre Lacazette’s goal against Manchester City probably pushes him ahead in the pecking order.

On either side of Lacazette, I’d expect Willian and Nicolas Pepe to start.

Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Chelsea

Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Chelsea - graphic created with Chosen11.com
Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Chelsea – graphic created with Chosen11.com
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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.