Arsenal travel to Brighton this afternoon, but they will be doing so without some crucial stars.
The Gunners will wish they hadn’t made the trip to the Etihad in midweek, as not only did they throw away their game in hand, but they also came away battered and bruised.
Pablo Mari is not expected to feature again this season according to Goal having failed to make it through the opening half-hour against City unscathed. The Spanish defender is claimed to have ankle ligament damage, and will be joined on the sidelines by a number of others in his area.
Sokratis (thigh sprain) and Cedric Soares (broken nose) are also believed to be unavailable until July at the earliest, while Calum Chambers (ACL) is yet to return to full training following his injury against Chelsea in Mikel Arteta’s first game in charge.
David Luiz will also be banned after his red card in midweek, although his absence could be considered a boost at present…
Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka’s absences may be felt in defence, with our other options less known for putting a foot-in should we say.
We have no known issues on the other end of the pitch, although we also have the most options up front regardless of injury anyway.
Predicted Arsenal XI:
Bellerin Mustafi Holding Tierney
Pepe Ozil Aubameyang
The Standard tips Tierney to get the nod in a central role, but I struggle to see why Arteta would overlook a fit Rob Holding despite his lack of action this term.
My biggest issue with this team is that Ozil looks set to start today, having been left behind in midweek. Our defensive issues at present lead me to think that we could opt for a three-man midfield, with Ashley Maitland-Niles a possibility to play in a three behind the forwards, but we know if the German plays that he will be playing in behind the striker.
Would Arteta play Ozil out wide in a front three? Should we be giving extra protection to our defence after the disaster in midweek? Who would be in your predicted line-ups?