Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in line to start for Arsenal while Kieran Tierney is also in contention when they face Newcastle United on Sunday.
Arsenal will be aiming to get back to winning ways when they lock horns with Newcastle United in Matchweek 34 of the 2020/21 Premier League at St. James’ Park on Sunday. Heading into the game, manager Mikel Arteta does not have any fresh injury concerns to contend with.
The Arsenal boss will welcome David Luiz and Kieran Tierney back into the fold, with the duo returning to full training this week. In addition to that club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also returned to action in the midweek Europa League defeat to Villarreal. However, Alexandre Lacazette remains unavailable with a hamstring injury, as confirmed by the team news update on the club’s official website.
There will be some changes made to the lineup given the upcoming clash semi-final second leg clash against Villarreal. No alteration is likely in goal where Bernd Leno should hold on to his place. There ought to be wholesale tweaks made to the backline, though, with Hector Bellerin starting in place of Calum Chambers while the fit-again Luiz and compatriot Gabriel Magalhaes should get the nod as the two centre-backs.
Despite Tierney returning to training, the Scotsman is unlikely to be rushed back by Arteta, who could give him some minutes in the second half before unleashing him against Villarreal next week. So, we can expect Cedric Soares to start as the left-back against Newcastle.
Moving into the midfield unit, Dani Ceballos was poor on Thursday and despite being ruled out for the second leg next week, he is unlikely to start here. Instead, Granit Xhaka, who has played quite a bit at left-back recently, should move into midfield where he will partner up with Thomas Partey, although Mohamed Elneny is an option should the Arsenal manager decide to rest either of the two.
Attack is where things get tricky for Arteta with regard to selection. The likes of Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe and Emile Smith Rowe have been crucial for Arsenal and as a result could be held back on Sunday with the Villarreal clash in mind. Instead, Willian should get a run-out on the right flank while Gabriel Martinelli features on the left.
Martin Odegaard, however, should hold on to his place in the no. 10 role. With Lacazette ruled out and Eddie Nketiah not really a part of the manager’s plans, Aubameyang becomes the obvious choice for the centre-forward role, even though Arteta is wary of rushing his captain back.
“He hasn’t trained much, he is still not at the level in his physique that he should be to start. We will see again tomorrow how he is. Yesterday he could only play a few minutes but we managed to get him on the pitch, which is great news for us,” the Gunners’ boss said in his pre-match presser. Aubameyang should, in all likelihood, slot in as the lone striker, with Folarin Balogun an option on the bench.
Arsenal Predicted XI: Leno; Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Cedric; Partey, Xhaka; Willian, Odegaard, Martinelli; Aubameyang