Mikel Arteta will need his defence at its very best against Chelsea on Sunday.
Chelsea is not the most consistent team at the moment but they showed against Tottenham that they are more than capable of beating most teams when they are in the mood.
There are multiple potential scorers for Chelsea and the Arsenal back four will be tested thoroughly, however, there is good reason to be optimistic that Arteta will get a big performance from the under-fire defenders.
There was significant improvement against Bournemouth and that gives them a good foundation to build on.
Bukayo Saka will probably start on the left once again, there is no real alternative right now with both Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney injured.
Sokratis will not feature following his head injury in the game against the Cherries and Calum Chambers is almost certain to be drafted in as his replacement.
I suspect David Luiz will keep his place, let’s hope his performance does not drop against his former club.
The right side is more difficult to assess because Hector Bellerin should be fit to play but Arteta may well stick with Ainsley Maitland-Niles for now. Personally, I think he will bring Bellerin back in.
So, this is the back four I reckon Arteta will go with.
Right now the defence is more or less picking itself due to an ongoing combination of injuries and the odd suspension. If there was ever a chance for these defenders to nail down a place long term, it is now.
Bellerin Chambers Luiz Saka
Pepe Ozil Martinelli.
As bad as AMN is at RB, I would pick him over Bellerin. Obviously Bellerin still isn’t match fit, but that doesn’t excuse his shocking performances this season. His passing has been atrocious! It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Arteta can do with him?
AMN has done well in his last two appearances, and our defence will be disrupted anyway, with Sokratis out. Why cause more disruption? Looks as if Xhaka may not play tomorrow, so I would go with:
AMN Chambers Luiz Saka
Pepe Ozil Martinelli(if fit)
Bellerin Mav Chambers Mustafi
With LUIZ infront of CBs!
Another guy playing Luiz out of position, if we would not have good dm like torreira
Mavropanos will do well….we need a big burly tall imposing cb to negate tammy abrhams…
He hasn’t played a lot though…
Mustafi as left back?
AMN Papa Luiz Saka
Pepe Ozil Martinelli
Sokratis is out, as he was concussed.
Let arsenal start with this lineup leno neils saka LUIS holding in defence then midfield mateo g xhaka OZIL pepe then striking lacca and auba.
I think david luiz will prove to lampard that its a mistake to sell him .Bellerin has been poor this season whenever he played so will go with niles even if bellerin was fit.Chambers will come in for sokratis.Saka will keep his place
Why wasn’t he be playing at his usual levek?he was injured and didn’t play for a year or so, then comes back slowly, getting few minutes here and there before getting injured again,and you wonder why he has played at his best level ! have you ever played at a decent level or at all??
What has passing accuracy got to do with fitness?
It’s either Luiz prove Frank wrong or the other way around
Either way…. some proving will be done 😀😀
But honestly, Luiz and Sokratis might prove bad for this game…. they’re too error prone to be trusted against Chelsea’s attack….. I just hope our attackers would be clinical today, and they’re provided with enough chances. COYG!
Sok was concussed, so is out! Chambers is back.
A win is a must, a defeat is a disaster. Lets face it, our players and our managers have taken this club into obscurity. We are no better than the likes of West Ham and Bournemouth, we are a dinosaur at this moment in time, extinct. A win and a change in attitude by our club is long over due. We are being dragged into a relegation battle and that stinks.
I wouldn’t have entirely agreed with you previously, however, with the resurgence of Watford, Everton and Southampton we are in a more precarious position than I thought possible. We have to win, so I expect and not just hope that the team are fired up For the match
I dont recognize this club or its position Sue, i watch us but i dont see Arsenal as it should be. Nothing seems to be firing us on. A couple of home wins against some other fallen giants has to be “non negotiable” quoting Arteta.
Reggie, Two weeks ago, prior to Arteta, I really feared for our Prem status as relegation became a stronger possibility. With Arteta here, I no longer fear relegation but would not expect higher than 8th at very best and we could well fall down as far as 15th. I have long term studied remaining fixtures, current injury lists and form of all Prem teams, as a pro bettor, which I am, always does. I BACK MY OWN NON BIASED OPINION AGAINST ANY OF THE SUPREME OPTIMISTS YOU FIND ON ALL FAN SITES, WHO RARELY SEE ANYTHING MUCH WRONG WITH THEIR OWN TEAM. I expect, being a realist, to lose the game today. Some will not accept that but as I say, I am non biased when giving my opinions. Non biased does NOT mean I am not a dyed in the wool Gooner and pray I am wrong but I remind folk reading this, I have for years been a successful pro bettor. Bookies make huge money from hopeless and biased optimists and love them.
For a long time I was a ‘ be careful what you wish for Gooner’ whilst my non Arsenal supporting husband thought that we were going down the pan. I changed my mind 2 years before AW left and realise now that for too long the club was drifting. Top 4 was a trophy and I bought into that. The Europa league hasn’t got ‘quite’ the same cache and from there on the slide down has been painful I’m able to hang my head and accept I made a mistake. AW brought some wonderful years and it was a privilege on the few occasions that I could go with my sons to witness such flair. A friend took me last season ( a freebie) and it was a depressing one nil win.
SueP, There is not one Prem team this season that is a certainty to go down right now, as is usual at this time of year. The race is wide open with up to a dozen teams in some degree of danger. I do believe that Norwich and Villa will go down but could not call the third right now. With so many down there and in danger i tcould be very tight right to final day with easily 7 or 8 teams still in real danger at end of April. We are likely to be on the fringes of trouble for a while yet, though I SEE US STAYING UP WITH A BIT TO SPARE at seasons end. I do not rule out even 8th or 9th but expect lower half.
I’m sure you are right and thank you for lifting my spirits
The trouble is, a couple more defeats, change the whole dynamic of who or who isnt in a relegation battle. What people need to remember is, we have been in relegation form for a calendar year now and we now have a manager who not only is new to the job but has never dealt with that scenario before. Our players and manager are not used to that type of battle, i wouldn’t be so confident if we dont get a minimum of 4 points next 2 games. I have never contemplated the scenario of relegation scrap but the truth is two defeats and we are in real trouble, two wins and we are starting the Arteta era. It is 50 50 for me. We aren’t that great at the moment and thats being optomistic.