Arsenal return from FA Cup action on Monday night looking to build on our victory at Fratton Park and keep in touching distance of the top four.
We start the weekend eight points outside of the Champions League places, hoping for some help from Everton at Chelsea and Manchester City at Manchester United on Sunday in particular.
Firstly, we must collect three points ourselves against strugglers West Ham United this afternoon.
The two teams are confirmed as:
Bernd Leno; Sokratis, David Luiz, Pablo Mari, Bukayo Saka; Dani Ceballos, Granit Xhaka, Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang; Eddie Nketiah
Substitutes: Emi Martinez, Hector Bellerin, Matteo Guendouzi, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson, Gabriel Martinelli, Alexandre Lacazette
Mikel Arteta has given Eddie Nketiah an opportunity up front this afternoon as the young Englishman starts ahead of Alexandre Lacazette. The striker will be flanked by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe down the wings, with Mesut Ozil in the number 10 role. Lacazette, Gabriel Martinelli and Reiss Nelson are all available from the bench.
Pablo Mari’s solid debut versus Portsmouth on Monday night has been rewarded with his first Premier League start. The Spaniard will partner David Luiz in the middle of a back four, with Sokratis playing as right-back once again, despite Hector Bellerin being named among the substitutes. Bukayo Saka retains his left-back role as Kieran Tierney seemingly isn’t fit to match the matchday squad just yet.
West Ham United
Lukasz Fabianski; Jeremy Ngakia, Issa Diop, Angelo Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell; Jarrod Bowen, Mark Noble, Declan Rice, Pablo Fornals; Michail Antonio, Sebastian Haller
Substitutes: Darren Randolph, Pablo Zabaleta, Fabian Balbuena, Tomas Soucek, Robert Snodgrass, Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini
Former Gunner Lukasz Fabianski starts in goal for the Hammers having made a blunder in their 3-2 loss at Liverpool a fortnight ago. 19-year-old Jeremy Ngakia retains his role at right-back with the experienced Pablo Zabaleta among the substitutes.
January signing Jarrod Bowen is a threat when cutting in on his stronger foot down the right, whilst we’re guessing that the versatile Michail Antonio will support Sebastian Haller in attack. Felipe Anderson and Manuel Lanzini are only good enough for the bench this afternoon.