Smith Rowe out as Arteta makes 2 key changes | Expected Arsenal line-up vs Brighton
Arsenal need to beat Brighton to stand a chance of clinching a Europa Conference League place. Here is the team we think Mikel Arteta will select:
Arsenal need to beat Brighton on Sunday to stand a chance of clinching a Europa Conference League qualification place. Here is the team Gooner Mac thinks Mikel Arteta will select:
Goalkeeper: Mat Ryan isn’t eligible to play against his parent club due to the terms of his loan so Bernd Leno is certain to keep his place in goal.
Defence: Hector Bellerin has been ruled out of Arsenal’s final game of the season after failing to recover from a leg injury that kept him out of the win at Crystal Palace in midweek. Therefore, Arteta could be tempted to stick with the same back four that played at Selhurst Park with Calum Chambers keeping his place at right-back.
Pablo Mari is pushing for a recall but I think we’ll see Gabriel keep his place alongside Rob Holding in the middle of the Arsenal back four while Kieran Tierney should once again start at left-back this weekend.
Midfield: Granit Xhaka made his comeback from a groin injury with a substitute appearance off the bench against Palace so the Swiss international is now pushing to start.
Mohamed Elneny did reasonably well last time out but I think he’ll still be the man to make-way for Xhaka despite Thomas Partey’s questionable form lately. The Ghanaian has always looked at his best with Xhaka alongside him so hopefully they can rekindle their partnership on Sunday.
Martin Odegaard made an impact off the bench after setting up the all-important Gabriel Martinelli goal which won Arsenal the game so he could be recalled against Brighton with Emile Smith Rowe given a well-deserved break.
Attack: Nicolas Pepe scored two important goals on Wednesday night and while we can question his consistency, there is no denying he’s capable of making match-winning impacts in the final third.
So I think we’ll see Pepe starting in the Arsenal attack while Bukayo Saka should keep his place meaning Martinelli may have to settle for a place among the substitutes once again this weekend.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a frustrating game at Selhurst Park but I still think he’ll lead the line up front due to his goal threat so Alexandre Lacazette will remain on the bench along with Eddie Nketiah.
Here is how I think we’ll see Arsenal line-up:
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