Arsenal are scheduled to face French side Angers in Wednesday’s pre-season friendly at the Stade Jean-Bouin. The Gunners suffered their first pre-season defeat in normal time against Lyon in the Emirates Cup over the weekend, but there were still positives with the likes of Dani Ceballos and Matteo Guendouzi getting their first piece of pre-season action this summer.
Bernd Leno played through the entire 90 minutes of the recent friendly against Lyon and the same could remain the case versus Angers as the German would want as much time as possible in goal before the season opener.
In the defence, there could be a swap in both full-back positions. Ainsley Maitland-Niles seemed to be struggling with a minor knock before his substitution against Les Gones and he could be replaced by Carl Jenkinson at right-back.
On the left side of the defence, Sead Kolasinac should come in for Nacho Monreal after being rested for the previous game owing to the car-jacking incident. At the heart of the backline, Calum Chambers and Sokratis should be afforded with another run together to strengthen their partnership.
In the midfield, Matteo Guendouzi and summer signing Dani Ceballos could earn starts after their first appearances of the pre-season campaign last weekend. Ceballos was particularly impressive with a 20-minute cameo towards the end of the game and the upcoming friendly offers the Spaniard with another opportunity to adapt to the club’s style of play.
In the attack, Mesut Ozil should return in the number 10 position after his absence in the Emirates Cup due to the same reason as Kolasinac. We are anticipating Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Reiss Nelson to feature either side of him with Eddie Nketiah leading the line.
Alexandre Lacazette recently suffered an injury scare after picking up an ankle sprain against his former employers and Emery may prefer to rest the striker altogether with the real season set to get underway in less than two weeks’ time.
Predicted Arsenal lineup: Bernd Leno, Carl Jenkinson, Calum Chambers, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Sead Kolasinac, Dani Ceballos, Matteo Guendouzi, Reiss Nelson, Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Eddie Nketiah