Arsenal are scheduled to face West Ham United in Saturday’s Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners have beaten Newcastle United and Everton in back-to-back top-flight games after the winter break and they now have the opportunity to register a third-straight league win for the first time this season.
Bernd Leno has been the undisputed choice for the goalkeeping duties in the Premier League. The German was fault for one of the goals conceded against Everton but he made amends with a couple of top-notch saves during the backend of that game. He is expected to start between the posts.
In the defence, Hector Bellerin should reclaim his right-back role from Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who played the entire 90 minutes of the FA Cup fifth round win over Portsmouth. Bukayo Saka will obviously feature at left-back with Sead Kolasinac out injured while Kieran Tierney is still short of fitness.
At the heart of the backline, we are fancying a Premier League debut for Pablo Mari alongside David Luiz. Shkodran Mustafi has obviously done a credible job in the central defence in recent weeks but Mari could keep his spot after an assured debut performance at Fratton Park, where he particularly impressed with the long-range distribution.
Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos have been the preferred midfield pairing for the past three Premier League matches. No changes are expected. That would mean that Matteo Guendouzi will drop to the bench after the Cup start. Lucas Torreira, however, remains out of contention after sustaining a fracture to his right ankle.
In the attack, Arteta should go with the same combination from the 3-2 win over Everton last month. In this case, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe are bound to feature in the wide attacking roles while Mesut Ozil should keep his place in the number 10 position.
Upfront, Eddie Nketiah should get the nod over Alexandre Lacazette after scoring in his last two starts for the club in all competitions. The young graduate bagged his first Premier League goal of the season during the hard-fought triumph over the Toffees.
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