Arsenal return to Premier League action with a trip to Leicester City on Sunday, let’s take a look at our predicted lineup for the clash.
After scraping through in the final minutes of their Europa League tie against Benfica, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal return their focus to domestic competition for a couple of games.
First up, they face Leicester City, on the back of the Foxes’ disappointing Europa League exit to SK Slavia Prague. Brendan Rodgers’ side will be looking to bounce back and consolidate their current spot in the top four.
With this game coming so soon after Thursday’s trip to Athens, you’d expect a few chances from Arteta. But he’ll know this is a tough game and likely stick with his starters wherever he thinks it’s safe to do so. Here’s our Arsenal predicted lineup.
Arsenal lineup – Goalkeeper
Bernd Leno didn’t make a save in the second leg against Benfica, but he had no chance with the goals and at least he avoided a red card after rushing out to try and salvage something following Dani Ceballos’ poor headed pass. He should keep his place.
Arsenal lineup – Defence
Largely, we’re expecting a similar back four to the one that played against Benfica. There’s no real necessity to drop Gabriel Magalhaes or David Luiz, but perhaps Kieran Tierney will drop out for Cedric Soares after his recent injury problems.
Arsenal lineup – Midfield
Thomas Partey is fit again, but rushing him back into the starting lineup is ill-advised. Ceballos may well get an immediate shot at redemption after his midweek mistakes by starting again alongside Granit Xhaka instead.
Martin Odegaard has now made more starts in 11 days than he did in his final four months with Real Madrid. It may also be a good idea to give him a rest and let Emile Smith Rowe take over at 10 for this one. Smith Rowe came off early against Benfica.
Arsenal lineup – Forwards
We’re predicting some changes at the front, given the recent busy schedule. Smith Rowe moving into the 10 position leaves a gap on the left, whilst Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang realistically need a rest.
Alexandre Lacazette can come in up front, with Nicolas Pepe on the right, but that leaves an opening on the left. Willian is likely to fill it, in the absence of the usual alternatives of Pepe, Saka, and Smith Rowe.
It won’t go down well with the Arsenal fans, but Willian had a decent cameo against Benfica and it seems like Arteta plans to use Gabriel Martinelli centrally rather than on the left.