Arsenal will welcome Chelsea to the Emirates this evening for the London derby clash, with both sides confirming up to three players sidelined.
The Blues have already confirmed that summer signing Hakim Ziyech will miss the clash with an injury, and Frank Lampard also raised doubts during his pre-match press conference (via the DailyMail)on the possibility of both first-team full-backs Ben Chilwell and Reece James being sidelined also.
Arsenal will also have just one player confirmed by Arsenal.com as missing. Thomas Partey remains sidelined with his thigh injury and is yet to return to full training after limping out of the clash with Tottenham earlier in the month.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been monitored closely over the past few days, and he remains a doubt despite both the club and player working hard to try and bring him up to speed. I feel like we might see his name amongst the subs but not quite ready to see out the full 90.
Gabriel Martinelli made his first start of the season against Manchester City in the League Cup on Tuesday, but was unable to complete the match. He suffered a heavy collision in the opening half, and while he was eager to continue, it just wasn’t possible shortly after the break. The club still hoped on Christmas Eve that he would be back in full training ahead of today’s clash however, and fingers crossed he can participate in some form against the side he scored that amazing goal against last term.
Bellerin Luiz Gabriel Tierney
Xhaka Elneny Saka
Willian Lacazette Pepe
Despite a return to a back three against Man City, I feel like Arteta has a preference for a back four still, and believe he will select Willian as the man to come in with Gabi and Aubz both likely to miss out.
I’d personally like to see Saka given another chance further up the field (with either Willock or Ceballos filling his role), or see Balogun given a shot after another confident display in midweek to play in place of either Lacazette or Willian, but I don’t feel like Arteta has the freedom to take such risks at this present time.
Who would you like to see make the line-up in Aubz/Gabi’s absence?