As Arsenal make one final attempt to qualify for European competition, let’s take a look at our predicted lineup to face Brighton on Sunday.

ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 18: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal looks on ahead of the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between SL Benfica and Arsenal FC at Stadio Olimpico on February 18, 2021 in Rome, Italy. SL Benfica face Arsenal FC at a neutral venue in Rome behind closed doors after Portugal imposed a ban on travellers arriving from the UK in an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19 variants. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal looks on ahead of 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)

The Emirates Stadium will welcome fans back this weekend, and despite the situation even just a few weeks ago, Arsenal somehow have a decent shot at qualifying for a European competition on the final day.

It’s not the European competition they’d want, as Arsenal’s best-case scenario is a seventh-place finish and a spot in the Europa Conference League. But at least it gives the final match some sort of intrigue.

Arsenal face Brighton, whilst Everton and Spurs play Manchester City and Leicester City away from home respectively. A win for Mikel Arteta’s side and draws or defeats for the other two would see the Gunners move into seventh.

As a result, Arteta isn’t going to rotate heavily, he’s going to play the side he feels gives Arsenal the best shot at a win. Here’s our predicted Arsenal lineup for the Brighton match.

Goalkeeper

Bernd Leno Arsenal, APRIL 29, 2021 - Football / Soccer : UEFA Europa League Semi-finals 1st leg match between Villarreal CF 2-1 Arsenal FC at the Estadio de la Ceramica in Vila-Real, Spain.
Bernd Leno Arsenal, APRIL 29, 2021 – Football: UEFA Europa League Semi-finals 1st leg match between Villarreal CF 2-1 Arsenal FC at the Estadio de la Ceramica in Vila-Real, Spain.

Bernd Leno has been in good form for the last couple of weeks, and he’ll likely keep his place for the final game of the campaign. Mat Ryan will be unavailable, as Arsenal are facing his parent club, Brighton.

As a result, Runar Alex Runarsson will probably make the bench, as he did the last time Ryan was unavailable for a Premier League fixture.

Defence

Arsenal's Calum Chambers (left) blocks the shot from Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Copyright: Justin Setterfield
Arsenal’s Calum Chambers (left) blocks the shot from Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Copyright: Justin Setterfield

I’m leaning towards an unchanged back four for Sunday’s match. Kieran Tierney came off early on Wednesday, so he should be alright to start. Rob Holding is basically the only option at right-centre-back, and Gabriel Magalhaes impressed alongside him.

Calum Chambers could possibly come out for Cedric Soares, but Chambers was another to perform well in midweek and may have earned himself a first start in front of the Arsenal fans since 2019.

Midfield

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka warms up during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal at Selhurst Park, London, England on 19 May 2021. Copyright: Phil Duncan
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka warms up during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal at Selhurst Park, London, England on 19 May 2021. Copyright: Phil Duncan

Arsenal have missed Granit Xhaka in midfield, and with Tierney back at left-back, this is a chance to play him there again. He’ll likely be partnered with Thomas Partey.

Emile Smith Rowe has been in good form and should start ahead of them, but it also wouldn’t be entirely surprising to see Martin Odegaard. The Norway international provided an assist for Gabriel Martinelli’s late goal on Wednesday.

We’re predicting another start for Smith Rowe, but it could go either way.

Forwards

Nicolas Pepe left celebrates with team-mates after scoring their side s first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Wednesday May 19, 2021. Copyright: Justin Setterfield
Nicolas Pepe left celebrates with team-mates after scoring their side s first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Copyright: Justin Setterfield

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be looking to end an underwhelming season on a positive note against Brighton. Arsenal have been cautious with Alexandre Lacazette since his injury and won’t want a setback ahead of the striker’s exit talks this summer.

Nicolas Pepe earned himself a spot in the weekend team with his two goals against Crystal Palace in midweek. Martinelli also deserves a spot in the team, and Bukayo Saka could probably use the rest, particularly if he’s about to join up with England.

Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Brighton

Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Brighton created using Chosen11.com
Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Brighton created using 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.