Arsenal will play host to Everton this evening, with some issues regarding our team selection.
Both Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are confirmed as missing tonight’s encounter. The latter is still recovering after contracting Malaria on international duty, but is it hoped that he could return to light training in the coming week.
The Frenchman limped off against Fulham on Sunday, and is struggling with his hamstring. Laca is also being assessed and is working closely with the medical team to return to availability.
This will of course leave Mikel Arteta with a tough decision on who will lead the attack, with Eddie Nketiah, Nicolas Pepe and Folarin Balogun all potential options.
Kieran Tierney and David Luiz also remain out with knee injuries. The latter is expected back in training next week, but the Scot is believed to be at least a week behind his defensive teammate.
Martin Odegaard has returned to light training this week, and could well be available, but he will continue to be assessed prior to kick-off before a decision is made.
Predicted Arsenal XI:
Chambers Holding Mari Xhaka
Saka Smith Rowe Pepe
Nketiah’s goal to help us land a late point against Fulham could give him the edge in the selection, with both of our first-choice strikers missing.
I know many fans would be keen to see Balogun get his chance, but while he is unlikely to start, the absences to mean he could well make his Premier League debut today, even if it is from the bench.
Xhaka appears to have convinced Arteta that he is our best option when Tierney is out, which will surely mean that Partey and Ceballos will continue in midfield.
You could flip a coin on whether Mari or Gabriel gets the nod alongside Holding however, as I struggle to figure out the manager’s thinking between the two.
How many of my predicted XI do you expect to start tonight? Does this XI have enough to beat Everton and leapfrog them in the table?