Ozil & Pepe start as Arteta makes 5 changes | Expected Arsenal line-up vs Brighton
Nicolas Pepe and Mesut Ozil are tipped to return when Arsenal take on Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Arsenal take on Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Here is the team Gooner Mac expects Mikel Arteta to select:
Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno kept Arsenal in the game against City in midweek with a string of saves so no doubt he’ll keep his place tomorrow afternoon.
Defence: David Luiz endured a nightmare against Man City and will be unavailable after being sent off during the 3-0 defeat. Arsenal will also be without Pablo Mari as the Spaniard has been ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury.
With Calum Chambers also still on the sidelines nursing a knee injury and Sokratis ruled out for at least another week, Arteta has limited options at centre-back. Rob Holding should be drafted back into the squad and is expected to start alongside Shkodran Mustafi in the middle of the back four.
Hector Bellerin should keep his place at right-back while Kieran Tierney could get another run out at left-back. Bukayo Saka played further forward in midweek and could drop back if the boss mixes things up in attack but I think Tierney will retain his place.
Sead Kolasinac is another option for Arsenal but the Bosnian international will probably have to settle for a place among the substitutes.
Midfield: Arsenal have been dealt another blow with the news that Granit Xhaka has been ruled out with an ankle injury that forced him off during the early stages of the defeat to Man City.
Lucas Torreira could return to the squad but still lacks fitness after only recently recovering from an ankle problem so the South American is unlikely to start against Brighton this weekend.
Therefore, Matteo Guendouzi is expected to keep his place after starting against City while Dani Ceballos should be recalled in midfield after replacing Xhaka on Wednesday evening.
Attack: Mesut Ozil was left out of the squad against City due to ‘tactical reasons’. The German has often been axed for the big away games but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ozil back involved against Brighton as Arsenal desperately need his creativity in the team.
Nicolas Pepe is another player pushing for a recall and he could replace Saka in the attack tomorrow while Alexandre Lacazette is expected to replace Eddie Nketiah up front after the Frenchman missed out against City.
Gabriel Martinelli and Reiss Nelson are other options for the Arsenal boss but I think it’s safe to assume Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will keep his place despite a poor showing last time out.
Here is how I think we’ll see Arsenal line-up:
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