Denis Suarez could be set to make his full debut Arsenal when they welcome Bournemouth to the Emirates on Wednesday.
Arsenal will be hoping build on the momentum built from the 2-0 win over Southampton this past weekend, when they play hosts to Bournemouth at the Emirates on Wednesday. And, as expected, Unai Emery is expected to rotate his squad and make several changes to his starting lineup.
The Arsenal boss was confronted with the question of rotation during his pre-match press conference, and the manager placed the importance on top level performance, “Performance. I want a performance in each match and our focus is tomorrow.”
“Some players after playing Sunday with a very big intensity and energy, maybe can give us the same intensity and the same energy and I am going to find some players with this energy, this fresh intensity and also quality. But above all is to do the balance between all the individual qualities and capacities for finding the best performance tomorrow.”
As for team news, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Alex Iwobi are significant doubts for this game after both received knocks in the win over Southampton. The duo will be assessed late on, although Emery is not expected to risk Iwobi ahead of the North London Derby on Saturday. Lichtsteiner too, will be replaced, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles now fit and available.
Emery will make a choice between Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac to play at left-back, although he might just stick with the Bosnian for now. Meanwhile, Bernd Leno is expected to keep his place between the sticks. Sokratis Papastathopoulos is likely to be rested with Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi lining up in the central defensive partnership.
In midfield, Granit Xhaka is expected to be rested, with Matteo Guendouzi the likely candidate to take his place in the double pivot alongside Lucas Torreira. Meanwhile, Emery was also quizzed about the prospect of handing Denis Suarez his first start in an Arsenal shirt.
“I think it’s not okay today [for him] to play 90 minutes because he needs rhythm, but one possibility is to start tomorrow knowing that. Or, stay on the bench and after he can help us. And it’s the same with other players.”
Emery’s comments suggest he might be thinking of playing Suarez from the off, and such a decision could be in line with resting key stars ahead of the North London Derby. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is expected to keep his place in the starting lineup, owing to his impressive display against the Saints, while Mesut could replace Aaron Ramsey in the hole.
Finally, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is expected to return to the starting lineup and replace Alexandre Lacazette as the central striker. The Frenchman is expected to play a part from the bench as Emery aims to keep him fresh for the game against Tottenham over the weekend.