Arsenal return to Premier League action with a match against Manchester City on Sunday, so let’s take a look at our predicted lineup.

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta reacts at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on February 2, 2021. (Photo by Nick Potts / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta reacts at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on February 2, 2021. (Photo by Nick Potts / POOL / AFP)

With the Benfica Europa League tie still very much in the balance at 1-1, Arsenal have to briefly shift their focus to facing the Premier League leaders.

Manchester City are 10 points clear at the top of the table on the back of a 17-game winning streak, defeating Spurs, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal during that run. So this game is evidently no big deal.

Given the busy schedule at the moment, and the fact he’s just named the same team twice in a row, we’re expecting a few changes for this one.

Here’s our predicted Arsenal lineup to face Manchester City.

Goalkeeper

ROME, ITALY: Bernd Leno of Arsenal looks for a pass during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between SL Benfica and Arsenal FC at Stadio Olimpico on February 18, 2021. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Bernd Leno will start as usual. After his run of clean sheets at the start of the year, he’s gone a couple of games without one, but you can hardly blame him given the chances he’s faced.

Mat Ryan should make the bench.

Defence

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02: Kieran Tierney of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns on January 02, 2021 in West Bromwich, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Rui Vieira - Pool/Getty Images)
WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND: Kieran Tierney of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns on January 02, 2021. (Photo by Rui Vieira – Pool/Getty Images)

After his substitute appearance on Thursday, this would be a good time to reintroduce Kieran Tierney. Getting him up to speed ahead of a tough fixture list is key.

Rob Holding could come back in to give David Luiz a rest, but we’re predicting another start for Gabriel Magalhaes at left-centre-back. You never know, but Manchester City doesn’t seem like the best game to reintroduce Pablo Mari after injury.

Hector Bellerin will likely start at right-back. He hasn’t had a rest for a while, but neither has Cedric Soares. One of them has to play.

Midfield

Martin Odegaard of Arsenal and Pascal Struijk of Leeds United during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: 14th February 2021. (Photo by David Klein / Sportimage)
Martin Odegaard of Arsenal and Pascal Struijk of Leeds United during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: 14th February 2021. (Photo by David Klein / Sportimage)

We’re not expecting many changes in the middle, largely due to the lack of alternatives.

At least one of Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe have to start in the number 10 position, and Smith Rowe is probably more in need of a rest, so Odegaard will keep his spot.

Without Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny is the only real option to replace Granit Xhaka or Dani Ceballos. But Partey should be back before too long to give Ceballos a rest, and Xhaka rarely seems to need one, so we’re predicting them both to start again for now.

Forwards

Arsenal's French striker Alexandre Lacazette warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on February 6, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on February 6, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had an off game on Thursday, and whilst he’s sure to bounce back, it’s probably a good time to give him a rest and bring Alexandre Lacazette back in.

Similarly, Nicolas Pepe can offer Smith Rowe a break on the left.

We’re clearly getting into the territory of overplaying Bukayo Saka a bit, but Arsenal also just can’t afford to rotate their entire front three at once.

Taking Saka out would probably mean moving Pepe to the right (despite playing all his recent games on the left), and putting Willian or Gabriel Martinelli on the left, which is a lot of changes at once. So we’re predicting another start for Saka.

Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Manchester City

Arsenal Predicted Lineup vs Manchester City created with Chosen11.com
Arsenal Predicted Lineup vs Manchester City created with Chosen11.com