Arsenal are back in Premier League action when we welcome West Ham United to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
We head into the weekend’s London derby off the back of a successful 2-0 win away to Portsmouth in the FA Cup, whilst the Hammers themselves were 3-1 winners over Southampton in the league last Saturday.
Mikel Arteta only named a handful of players for the trip to Fratton Park in the starting lineup that I would expect to start this game too. However, Lucas Torreira suffered a fractured ankle that will keep him out for several weeks.
Here is the team I think we’ll see facing West Ham:
Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno
The German was given a rest on Monday night but will return to action this weekend. Bernd Leno hasn’t missed a single Premier League game this season.
Defence: Hector Bellerin, Sokratis, David Luiz, Bukayo Saka
Hector Bellerin will return in the right-back role after being rested against the League One side. The Spaniard should be joined by Sokratis and David Luiz in defence as Shkodran Mustafi appears to be carrying a knock. There was an encouraging debut from Pablo Mari at centre-back against Portsmouth but I wouldn’t expect him to be in the manager’s plans for any league games in the near future. Whilst Kieran Tierney is back in full training I think this game will come too soon for him, therefore Bukayo Saka maintains his place at left-back. The teenager has been excellent there recently and should have success again this weekend.
Midfield: Dani Ceballos, Granit Xhaka; Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Lucas Torreira was replaced by Dani Ceballos in the opening 20 minutes on Monday night after the Uruguayan suffered a fractured ankle on the south coast. The Spaniard could play this game from the start as we look to take the game to the Premier League strugglers. Granit Xhaka is the club captain so will sit in front of the back four. Matteo Guendouzi is another option in midfield to Mikel Arteta.
Joe Willock didn’t do anything against Pompey to suggest he will displace Mesut Ozil from the starting lineup anytime soon so the German will continue in the number 10 role. Reiss Nelson did perform very well down the right wing last time out but I cannot help but think that Nicolas Pepe will keep his place in the starting XI this weekend. With Saka forced to drop back into a defensive tole I think Arteta will continue with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang down the left wing. Gabriel Martinelli is the other option available the boss.
Striker: Eddie Nketiah
Another goal from the young striker on Monday may have made up the manager’s mind for this weekend. Alexandre Lacazette hasn’t done enough to justify his starting spot for months now so I think Eddie Nketiah will get a chance to show what he’s capable of in the Premier League.
Here’s how I see us lining up: