Thomas Partey is set for his Arsenal debut while Alexandre Lacazette is expected to return against Manchester City at the Etihad on Saturday.
Arsenal will hope to consolidate their place inside the top four when they take on Manchester City at the Etihad on Saturday evening. And, Mikel Arteta has greeted a mix of good and bad news ahead of his side’s latest fixture, while the big talking point remains the potential debut of Thomas Partey.
The likes of Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers, Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel Martinelli are all still on the sidelines, but the good news is that each of the players has stepped up their rehabilitation, with Martinelli returning to the field to do some light work. However, Arteta could also be handed a setback, with Kieran Tierney’s availability being uncertain.
Gabi’s back outside and working with the ball! 🤩 pic.twitter.com/uv2jNPQT68
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 16, 2020
It is unclear if the Scottish defender will be cleared to take on Manchester City due to quarantine protocols. However, during his pre-match press conference, Arteta appeared to be hopeful of having Tierney at his disposal.
“This is getting very complicated when we are sending players abroad and obviously you lose control, some authorities have different regulations to the actual ones in the Premier League. We are still having some discussions with the authorities and hopefully we will know more this afternoon. I hope so [he can play against Manchester City].”
The uncertainty looming over Tierney’s availability means Rob Holding could return to the starting lineup, partnering David Luiz and Gabriel Magalhaes in the three-man central defensive unit. Bernd Leno is the obvious choice in goal while Hector Bellerin and Bukayo Saka will be the two wing-backs for Arsenal.
Up ahead in midfield, the big question has been whether Thomas Partey would make his debut for Arsenal against Manchester City. Arteta addressed the questions surrounding Partey’s availability during his presser.
“Well he was here just yesterday, he is getting familiar with everything around the club. Today he will have his first training session, so everything has to come really quickly for him. We knew that before we signed him that he is fit, he is very willing to start playing and we will see how he goes in the next few days.”
Considering he featured extensively for Atletico Madrid before sealing the move to Arsenal, it is likely that Partey will be sharp enough to be thrown into the deep end when Manchester City host the Gunners on Saturday. Partnering him in the middle of the park should be Dani Ceballos.
Finally, in attack, the first-choice trio of Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian should reunite. Lacazette will lead the line while Willian and Arsenal captain Aubameyang will be the two wide men against Manchester City.
Arsenal Predicted XI: Leno; Holding, Luiz, Gabriel; Bellerin, Ceballos, Partey, Saka; Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang