Martinelli starts as Freddie makes 5 changes | Expected Arsenal line-up vs Brighton
Arsenal take on Brighton at the Emirates on Thursday night. Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Freddie Ljungberg will select for the game:
Freddie Ljungberg takes charge of his first home game as interim Arsenal manager when Brighton head to the Emirates on Thursday night. Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Ljungberg will select for the game:
Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno was superb during the 2-2 draw with Norwich at the weekend as he kept Arsenal in the game with a string of saves so he’s certain to keep his place ahead of Emi Martinez.
Defence: However, Ljungberg is expected to make changes in defence as we were once again woeful at the back on Sunday afternoon. Shkodran Mustafi was a surprise starter but he showed us why he fell out of favour under Emery with another poor performance so I can see him being axed against Brighton.
David Luiz wasn’t much better but I think the Brazilian will keep his place tomorrow night. Sokratis has been in poor form this season so Rob Holding might be the man to come in to the back four if he’s recovered from a knock.
Hector Bellerin will also face a late fitness test after missing the last two games with a hamstring issue. Ljungberg will hopefully give Bellerin every opportunity to prove his fitness as we desperately need him to return at right-back with Calum Chambers dropping out.
Sead Kolasinac was one of our better defensive performers at Norwich but I still think Kieran Tierney will be recalled to start at left-back on Thursday evening.
Midfield: Lucas Torreira could be set for a recall in midfield. Arsenal will need to work hard in the middle of the park to break up Brighton’s play as they’ve been playing some excellent football this season, particularly away from home, so hopefully Torreira is brought in to break things up.
Granit Xhaka started in Ljungberg’s first game but if it’s a choice between him and Matteo Guendouzi then I think the French youngster will get the nod as he’s been in much better form this season.
Dani Ceballos remains out with a hamstring injury while I think we might see a switch in formation that will see Joe Willock drop out after a disappointing performance at Norwich.
Attack: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang showed his value to Arsenal once again with another brace at the weekend and he’s certain to keep his place but he may be deployed from out wide against Brighton.
Alexandre Lacazette is expected to lead the line up front for the Gunners with Mesut Ozil playing in a more central role after playing from the wing at Carrow Road on Sunday afternoon.
Nicolas Pepe didn’t feature in Ljungberg’s first game with the boss hinting he’s not training hard enough so I don’t think we’ll see Arsenal’s big-money summer signing recalled tomorrow.
Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson are both options for Ljungberg but I think Gabriel Martinelli will be handed a start in the Premier League following some impressive performances this season.
Here is how I think we’ll see Arsenal line-up:
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