Gabriel Martinelli makes the starting lineup while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is fit enough only to make the bench as Arsenal prepare to take on Chelsea at the Emirates.
Mikel Arteta has made wholesale changes to the side that started in the 4-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup earlier this week as Arsenal get set to play hosts to Chelsea at the Emirates. The first shuffle comes in goal, where Bernd Leno comes in for Runar Alex Runarsson.
The defensive line has an entirely new look as well, with Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Pablo Mari and Kieran Tierney all back in the starting lineup. The likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Cedric Soares, Gabriel Magalhaes and Sead Kolasinac have dropped to the bench or excluded from the matchday squad altogether.
🚨 Here’s how we lineup for tonight’s game…#ARSCHE
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 26, 2020
In midfield, former Arsenal skipper Granit Xhaka returns to the side straightaway after becoming available following the lapsing of his three-match suspension. Xhaka joins Mohamed Elneny, one of only three players to retain their spots, in the middle of the park.
As for attack, Gabriel Martinelli and Alexandre Lacazette keep hold of their places as well, with the presence of Martinelli in the side being quite surprising. The duo are joined by Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe in the final third, with Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit enough to make the bench.
Arsenal Starting Lineup: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney, Elneny, Xhaka, Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Lacazette