Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is set to replace Alexandre Lacazette while David Luiz will return in defence when Arsenal face Burnley on Sunday.
Arsenal will have the chance to close the gap to the top four when they lock horns with Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday evening. And, Mikel Arteta is set to welcome back two of his regulars for his side’s latest fixture.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and David Luiz are available after serving out their respective suspensions. Aubameyang had been on the sidelines for three matches following his dismissal at Crystal Palace three weeks ago while David Luiz missed the FA Cup tie against Bournemouth after being sent off against Chelsea last week.
😏 When you realise it’s almost matchday again…
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 1, 2020
During his pre-match press conference, Arteta expressed his relief at having Aubameyang and Luiz at his disposal again. The Arsenal manager said, “Yeah we missed them. It’s good to have top players back in the squad. They’ve been training well so we have more bodies available.”
Luiz should return in defence, although he now seems to be competing for his spot with January signing Pablo Mari. Arteta spoke of his delight at having Mari at his disposal while also providing an update on Shkodran Mustafi, who is recovering from an ankle injury.
“He [Mari] balances what I want to do from the back line, he gives more options, more solutions, he opens up the pitch more. Again, he’s a player that we’ve been following for the last few months. We are really happy to have him. It’s not as bad as we thought. He’s [Mustafi] been having treatment, he’s been doing a little bit of treatment, and we’re feeling positive about him.”
Luiz is likely to pip Mari against Burnley, with Sokratis Papastathopoulos being his partner at the heart of the Arsenal defence. Hector Bellerin and Bukayo Saka pick themselves as the full-back pairing, with Kieran Tierney, Sead Kolasinac and Cedric Soares, who arrived on deadline day, all sidelined. Bernd Leno is the obvious choice in goal.
Up ahead in midfield, Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira have formed a strong partnership and will continue in the double pivot. The key decision in attack concerns the returning Aubameyang and who he replaces. Gabriel Martinelli came into the side in Aubameyang’s absence and could make way for the Arsenal captain.
However, Alexandre Lacazette seems to be walking the tightrope as far as his form is concerned. On Sunday, Aubameyang should come in for Lacazette to lead the line against Burnley. Martinelli will start on the left flank, with Nicolas Pepe a certain starter on the right, while Mesut Ozil will reprise the no. 10 role.
Arsenal Predicted XI: Leno; Bellerin, Sokratis, Luiz, Saka; Xhaka, Torreira; Pepe, Ozil, Martinelli; Aubameyang