After our nightmare early fixture list and the problems caused by injuries and Covid, things are gradually improving for Mikel Arteta as more and more players become available for selection.
As outlined in my previous post, Arteta has got some of his most important players back on the training pitch this week, including Ben White and Gabriel teaming up at the centre of defence, and our much-missed midfielder Thomas Partey is finally back in contention as well.
So, what sort of starting XI can Arteta choose this weekend to ace Norwich?
It appears that Arteta now has a choice between Leno and Ramsdale between the sticks, with the new boy giving the impression he will be promoted this week.
I am certain that White and Gabriel will be in the middle of defence, and Tierney is a shoo-in on the left. With Tomisayu unlikely to play so early, it could be Tavares or Maitland-Niles on the right. If Arteta goes with 5 at the back I can see Holding as the anchor in defence.
Although Partey is looking good, we know that Arteta has been cautious in putting him straight back for 90 minutes, so I am expecting an attacking midfield against Norwich, maybe with Elneny and Odegaard if we have 5-2-3 (my fave formation).
Up front I fancy Pepe and Smith-Rowe on the wings with Aubameyang in the middle.
So here is my preferred line-up for Saturday…..
Maitland-Niles Gabriel Holding White Tierney
Which is your preferred line-up?