Arsenal return to the Premier League with a match against Fulham this weekend, let’s have a look at our predicted lineup for the clash.

Coach of Arsenal Mikel Arteta in action during the FC European Football League quarterfinal match SK Slavia Prague vs Arsenal in Prague, Czech Republic, April 15, 2021. CTKxPhoto/OndrejxDeml CTK
Coach of Arsenal Mikel Arteta in action during the FC European Football League quarterfinal match SK Slavia Prague vs Arsenal in Prague, Czech Republic, April 15, 2021. CTK Photo / Ondrej Deml CTK

Arsenal have had a couple of good results this week, comfortably beating Sheffield United 3-0 before thrashing Slavia Prague 4-0 away from home to qualify for the Europa League semi-finals.

Before that, Mikel Arteta’s side have a couple of Premier League fixtures to deal with. First up, they face Fulham at home, hoping for a similar result to the 3-0 away win from the opening day of the league season.

Although they’ve lost their last four games, Fulham have made a minor resurgence in recent months, beating the likes of Everton and Liverpool and only losing 1-0 to Spurs. So it’s not quite as much of a foregone conclusion as in September to November.

With no game until next Friday, Arteta can name his strongest side, bearing in mind that some of them may need a rest after Thursday’s win. Here’s our predicted Arsenal lineup.

Goalkeeper

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno Arsenal v Slavia Prague, UEFA Europa League, Quarter Final, First Leg, Football, Emirates Stadium, London, UK - 08 Apr 2021. Copyright: Javier Garcia / BPI / Shutterstock
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno Arsenal v Slavia Prague, UEFA Europa League, Quarter Final, First Leg, Football, Emirates Stadium, London, UK – 08 Apr 2021. Copyright: Javier Garcia / BPI / Shutterstock

Bernd Leno has missed one game in 2021 and it was through suspension. He’ll start this one as usual. Mat Ryan will make the bench.

Defence

Gabriel Magalhaes of Arsenal FC during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 Leg 1 match between SL Benfica and Arsenal FC at Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy on 18 February 2021. Copyright: Giuseppe Maffia
Gabriel Magalhaes of Arsenal FC during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 Leg 1 match between SL Benfica and Arsenal FC at Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy on 18 February 2021. Copyright: Giuseppe Maffia

Gabriel and Hector Bellerin will probably get the chance to come back in, letting Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers rest. However, we’re predicting Rob Holding and Granit Xhaka to keep their places.

There really aren’t many viable alternatives to Holding at right-centre-back, whilst Xhaka is starting to look very important to Arsenal’s build-up play from the back, especially in matches where they’re trying to break a defensive opponent down.

Admittedly, this does make it difficult for Cedric Soares to get into the team. He may have to settle for substitute appearances like the one on Thursday for now.

David Luiz and Kieran Tierney remain absent with their injury problems.

Midfield

18th March 2021 Emirates Stadium, London, England UEFA Europa League Football, Arsenal versus Olympiacos Dani Ceballos of Arsenal takes on Thanasis Androutsos of Olympiakos Shaun Brooks
18th March 2021, Emirates Stadium, London, England UEFA Europa League Football, Arsenal versus Olympiacos, Dani Ceballos of Arsenal takes on Thanasis Androutsos of Olympiakos. Photo: Shaun Brooks

With Xhaka in defence, Dani Ceballos and Thomas Partey should start at the base of midfield. Martin Odegaard’s fitness remains uncertain, so we’re predicting Emile Smith Rowe to keep his place ahead of the other two.

Miguel Azeez may well make the squad again if Odegaard is still out. Mohamed Elneny is the other option, of course.

Forwards

UEFA Europa League Quarter-final 2nd Leg, Football, Sinobo Stadium, Prague, Czech Republic - 15 Apr 2021 Slavia Prague v Arsenal, UEFA Europa League Quarter-final 2nd Leg, Football, Sinobo Stadium, Prague, Czech Republic - 15 Apr 2021 Copyright: Gabriel Kuchta/BPI/Shutterstock
UEFA Europa League Quarter-final 2nd Leg, Football, Sinobo Stadium, Prague, Czech Republic – 15 Apr 2021 Slavia Prague v Arsenal, UEFA Europa League Quarter-final 2nd Leg, Football, Sinobo Stadium, Prague, Czech Republic – 15 Apr 2021 Copyright: Gabriel Kuchta/BPI/Shutterstock

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is only just recovering from malaria, so Alexandre Lacazette will probably keep his place up front. His four goals in two games make that a fairly simple decision.

Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka have both earned further starts with their excellent performances on Thursday as well. It would be a shame to see either of them missing out, though Gabriel Martinelli and Willian are both available.

To keep the momentum going, we’re expecting Arteta to stick with what’s working – Pepe and Saka.

Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Fulham

Arsenal predicted lineup to face Fulham created with Chosen11.com
Arsenal predicted lineup to face Fulham created with Chosen11.com
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