Hector Bellerin and Gabriel Martinelli are in contention to return while Dani Ceballos will start when Arsenal take on Leeds United in the FA Cup third round.
Arsenal will be aiming to seal their progression through to the FA Cup fourth round when they play hosts to Leeds United at the Emirates in the third round on Monday night. And, Mikel Arteta does not have any fresh injury concerns to deal with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
The Arsenal manager, though, is likely to make some heavy alterations to the side that started in the 2-0 win over Manchester United last week. The same was reflective during Arteta’s pre-match press conference, where he was speaking about the need to manage the injuries plaguing his squad, when playing three games in a seven-day span.
“Yes [it’s taken a lot out of the squad] because at the moment we are managing a lot of injuries. We haven’t been able to rotate the team a lot but we survived. Yesterday I was a little bit scared because we could have exposed a few players and got some injuries.”
“We got through the game and obviously we suffered physically, but I think all the teams in the Premier League are in the same position at the moment. We worked through it, we suffered together and now we have a few days to recover.”
The changes are likely to come into effect right at the back, with Emiliano Martinez, the goalkeeper who tends to start in cup competitions, starting between the sticks. The big news heading into the game, meanwhile, surrounded the availability of Hector Bellerin.
The Spaniard has spent considerable amount of time on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury, but is set face a late fitness test ahead of the visit of Leeds United. If passed fit, Bellerin should start on the right side of the Arsenal defence, with Bukayo Saka likely to come into the side in place of Sead Kolasinac. The central defensive partnership should comprise of Sokratis and Rob Holding.
Up ahead in midfield, Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka should be afforded a rest. In their stead, Matteo Guendouzi and Joe Willock ought to come into the side, starting in the double pivot. Mesut Ozil, too, should be given a breather against Leeds as well, with the German starting each of the three matches under Arteta thus far.
The fit-again Dani Ceballos will be the player contesting for Ozil’s place, having recovered from a hamstring complaint. Ceballos will reprise the no. 10 role, playing off the central striker, who ought to be Gabriel Martinelli.
Martinelli, though, will also be assessed ahead of the game, like Bellerin, although it is believed that is likely to be fit enough to lead the line for Arsenal against Leeds. The two wide men flanking Ceballos and providing support to Martinelli should be Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson.
Predicted Arsenal XI: Martinez; Bellerin, Sokratis, Holding, Saka; Guendouzi, Willock; Nelson, Ceballos, Smith Rowe; Martinelli