Predicted Arsenal lineup against Everton
Just a week ago, the only major concern for Arsenal fans was whether their team would win an away tie against Czech side Slavia Prague in the Europa League. Fast forward a day, the Gunners settled the fans’ nerves in an impressive win at Prague.
But their inconsistent season was on display yet again, after they drew to third-bottom Fulham. Their frustrations of this match were amplified when the club released an official statement, almost at the cusp of midnight on 18th April, that they would be joining a breakaway league, European Super League.
Even though, within 72 hours, the club released another statement that they would not be joining the league, the anger in the Arsenal faithful has till not vanished, understandably.
The club’s supporters are planning to protest against owner Stan Kroenke, who was believed to be a spearhead in the ‘Super League talks,’ before the match against Everton on Friday.
Moving on to the predictions to the match against The Toffees, it is worth pointing out that Mikel Arteta got plenty of time to prepare for this one.
The Gunners will get a further six-day break before they lock horns against Spanish side Villarreal, which can make or break their season. Thus, Arteta can go full gas against the Merseyside club.
Bernd Leno will be expected to be in goal after he was given a breather against fellow London club Fulham.
With the absence of David Luiz, Rob Holding’s position in the starting 11 would not be in jeopardy. The real question is who will start alongside him? Gabriel played with him in the last match, and Pablo Mari the game before that. The Holding-Mari partnership has looked more solid than the Holding-Gabriel. And given the counter-attacking threat Everton possess, Mari will be given the nod ahead of his countryman.
Granit Xhaka has filled in the left-back slot and has undoubtedly done a good job. The Swiss is likely to carry on being the makeshift left-back. Right-back is where things get intriguing. Hector Bellerin has been in and out of the team this year. It appears like Cedric and Calum Chambers have strengthened their positions as more reliable options than the Spaniard.
Given Chambers has been the best of the three in the past few weeks, he will start.
Thomas Partey was on the bench for the match against Fulham, so he will be expected to start alongside Dani Ceballos, who has been exceptional of late. The Real Madrid loanee even scored his first Premier League goal last weekend, only to see it ruled out for the smallest of margins.
On the right-wing, Bukayo Saka would be an obvious choice. On the right, it will likely be Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian has looked a far greater threat when deployed as a left-winger.
The former Lille man, with no doubt whatsoever, looks more unpredictable on the left than his favoured position at the right.
Although Martin Odegaard has started training with the first team, it is improbable that he will be given a start against Carlo Ancelotti’s side. Emile Smith Rowe will yet again start, but fans can expect Odegaard to be given an outing at the latter stages of the match.
He will have a greater role to play in the crucial Europa League tie next week.
Gabriel Martinelli can be handed a start at the unprecedented center forward position, taking into consideration his pace and energy, which Arteta likes from his center-forward.
Handing Eddie Nketiah a start can prove costly, considering he has barely played for the Gunners this year.
Majority of the Arsenal fans have already put all their eggs in the Europa League basket. But that is not the case with Mikel Arteta, who would see the game against Everton, just like a normal one.
Chambers Holding Mari Xhaka
Saka Smith-Rowe Pepe