Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in contention to start for Arsenal, who will aim to bounce back from consecutive defeats when they face Leicester City.
Arsenal’s top four fortunes have gone from their own hands to being dependent on rivals’ results at the weekend after losing two last two games to hand the initiative to Chelsea and Tottenham. With Tottenham losing against West Ham United on Saturday and Chelsea playing Manchester United later on Sunday, there is still hope for Arsenal when they lock horns with Leicester City.
Heading into the game, there could be some changes to the team sheet, as Emery looks to bounce back from a disappointing week. Some of the absentees, apart from those missing in the long-term, are Aaron Ramsey and Denis Suarez.
While Suarez has not formed an essential part of the team since his arrival, Ramsey has shown his value right before his departure for Juventus. The Welshman is still out with a hamstring problem, and there are doubts he might have played his last game for Arsenal.
Bernd Leno is likely to keep his place in goal despite his poor showing against Wolves the last time out. Behind him, there could be changes to the defensive formation with Emery likely to field a back-three instead of a back-four like he did against Wolves.
Shkodran Mustafi is available if the Arsenal boss decides to give Laurent Koscielny a breather after playing him in five consecutive games. But, the general consensus on Mustafi means Emery will prefer the trio of Sokratis, Koscielny and Nacho Monreal at the back, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sead Kolasinac supporting as wing-backs.
With Ramsey absent and Matteo Guendouzi and Mohamed Elneny out of form as seen in the last few games, Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka are penciled to continue in the middle. Both midfielders had a bad outing against Wolves, but will hope to bounce back against Leicester.
Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan both started at Wolves, but will likely be benched, with Emery looking to change the shape of attack. Alex Iwobi could be preferred on the left, and the game could see the return of star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who missed the crucial game against Wolves after undergoing a sinus procedure.
The Gabonese striker could be back, although the team news update on the club’s website does cast a doubt over his involvement. Emery was on hand to provide an update on Arsenal’s top scorer during his pre-match press conference on the striker’s availability. He said, “Auba trained on Friday and, if he can train on Saturday, I think he’ll be ready to play on Sunday.”
In the case that Aubameyang is not fit enough to start, the Arsenal manager still has Alexandre Lacazette fit and ready to go. The latest from Arsenal’s official site did publish pictures of Aubameyang training on Saturday, so going by Emery’s statement, he could be available and likely to partner Lacazette upfront.