Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will return while Shkodran Mustafi ought to come in for Pablo Mari when Arsenal take on West Ham United on Saturday.
Arsenal will be eager to continue their fine run of form in the Premier League when they play hosts to West Ham United at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon. And, Mikel Arteta has a fresh injury concern hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Lucas Torreira sustained an ankle injury just 15 minutes into the FA Cup clash with Portsmouth earlier this week. The Uruguayan midfielder is sidelined for the foreseeable future and Arteta was unsure of his recovery period when asked to provide an update on him during his pre-match press conference.
“He was quite positive this morning. I spoke with him and he was in pain. We don’t really know exactly the extent of the injury. He needs to see the specialist tomorrow here in London and we will know more about it.”
Torreira was unlikely to have started against West Ham anyway, but his absence does leave Arteta short of midfield options. Nevertheless, the midfield double pivot should see the first-choice pairing of Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos should return to the starting lineup on Saturday.
As for defence, Pablo Mari was impressive on his Arsenal debut against Portsmouth. And, Arteta was asked if the January signing had made a sufficient recovery to start a second successive game when West Ham pay the Gunners a visit on Saturday.
“He’s recovered really well from the game. He played 45 minutes with the under-23s four days before that game. He played 90 and he said he’s physically good. He trained well and I think he’s ready to play if we need him again on Saturday.”
Mari, though, should make way for Shkodran Mustafi, who has been one of the most impressive players under Arteta. Mustafi will have regular partner David Luiz for company at the heart of the Arsenal defence. Hector Bellerin, like Mustafi, will return to the starting lineup, starting as the right-back.
On the opposite flank, Bukayo Saka is a certain starter for now, with Kieran Tierney only rejoining full training this week and still some way off regaining full fitness. Behind the defence, Bernd Leno is an automatic pick in the Arsenal goal.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang received a deserved rest against Portsmouth, but will return to face West Ham this weekend. Aubameyang will start on the left side of the Arsenal attack once again, with Nicolas Pepe returning on the right wing. Mesut Ozil will reprise the no. 10 role, playing off Alexandre Lacazette, who should get the nod to lead the line despite Eddie Nketiah’s strong form.
Arsenal Predicted XI: Leno; Bellerin, Mustafi, Luiz, Saka; Ceballos, Xhaka; Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang; Lacazette