Arsenal are scheduled to face London rivals Chelsea on the road in Tuesday’s Premier League clash. The Gunners have made an improvement in terms of the performances under Mikel Arteta but most of their games have ended in frustrating stalemates.
As a result, the club have dropped 10 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the standings and the derby on Tuesday can be regarded as a must-win as Arteta seeks to keep his side in the hunt for Champions League football next season through the league.
Bernd Leno has been ever-present for the Gunners in the Premier League where he has been the undisputed goalkeeper. The German made a huge blunder in the reverse meeting at the Emirates which led to the Blues’ comeback win and he will be aiming to make amends on Tuesday.
The backline may witness the solitary change with Sokratis returning to the lineup to replace Shkodran Mustafi in the central defence, where he will be accompanied by David Luiz. With Sead Kolasinac out with a thigh strain, Bukayo Saka will keep his spot at left-back.
The same should be the case for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who has grown accustomed to Arteta’s style of play from right-back unlike Hector Bellerin, who has not taken the playing field since his recovery from a hamstring problem.
In the centre of the park, Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira seem the undisputed choices for the manager. In front of them, Mesut Ozil should continue to feature. The German needs to come up with a goalscoring contribution against the Blues, particularly with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang suspended for another two domestic games.
In the frontline, the personnel should remain unchanged with Reiss Nelson out injured with a hamstring problem while Aubameyang is still banned from taking the field. Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe are expected to play either side of Alexandre Lacazette.
Lacazette has gone through a difficult period in front of goal and he has failed to find the net for the last seven games in all competitions for the club. He has, of course, impressed with his high work rate but Arteta will want much more than that on Tuesday with the absence of the scoring threat from the club-captain.
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