Arsenal are set to welcome back summer signing Kieran Tierney into the starting lineup, when they face off against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Arsenal will resume their 2019/20 Premier League campaign on Wednesday with an away trip to the Etihad, where they will be facing off against defending champions Manchester City.
The three-month hiatus has meant that the Gunners have most of their injured players back in action. The only player that will not be available to Mikel Arteta ahead of his return to the Etihad is Calum Chambers, who is ruled out till August with a knee injury.
Kieran Tierney has completely recovered from his dislocated shoulder, while Sead Kolasinac is also back to fitness. Cedric Soares had picked up a facial injury during a training session, but is expected to be available, while Lucas Torreira, too, should be in contention, having trained with the group ahead of the game.
Arteta is likely to make a few alterations to the team that beat West Ham United 1-0 in their last game prior to the suspension of football. They are expected to set out in the same 4-2-3-1 formation, with Bernd Leno lining up between the sticks.
Hector Bellerin, now fit and firing, should be the undisputed starter at right-back for the Gunners. Tierney’s return means he should slot in at left-back, replacing Bukayo Saka, who had a sterling job in a makeshift position.
David Luiz has been a permanent fixture under Arteta and is likely to start again, despite his howler in the friendly against Brentford. Pablo Mari had partnered the Brazilian in the last two matches, but the on-loan defender could make way for Shkodran Mustafi, who has shown great improvement under the new manager.
On-loan Real Madrid star Dani Ceballos should keep his place in the middle of the park, with Granit Xhaka starting as his partner. Mesut Ozil could drop out of the starting XI, as Arteta could opt for Joe Willock, who will add more energy and industry, which will be vital against this Manchester City side.
The attacking contingent represents a major selection headache for Arteta, given the number of options at his disposal. Saka, freed from his left-back duties, is a strong contender to start due to his form, while Gabriel Martinelli is also vying for a start on the left wing. However, captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should edge them out to start on Wednesday.
The Gabonese striker’s future has been under intense speculation, but Arteta insisted that 30-year-old is very happy at the club. “At the moment I am extremely happy with how he has been performing and behaving, I have a really good relationship with him where we can discuss face to face a lot of things. As far as I am aware, he is very happy at the club,” he told the club’s website.
Nicolas Pepe should get the nod on the right flank ahead of Reiss Nelson. Alexandre Lacazette, who scored the only goal of the game last time out against West Ham, should feature as the striker ahead of Eddie Nketiah.
Arsenal Predicted XI: Leno; Bellerin, Mustafi, Luiz, Tierney; Ceballos, Xhaka; Pepe, Willock, Aubameyang; Lacazette