Granit Xhaka has been ruled out with an injury while Gabriel Martinelli and Calum Chambers are in line to start when Arsenal take on West Bromwich Albion.
Arsenal will be hoping to get back to winning ways following their exit from the UEFA Europa League when they face off against West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday night in the Premier League.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will have to make do without three first-team regulars for the contest as David Luiz has not recovered from the hamstring injury he picked up last weekend against Newcastle United while Granit Xhaka misses out due to the groin problem he sustained before kick-off against Villarreal. Pablo Mari is the third and final absentee for the Gunners with an ankle issue.
Arteta is expected to make a string of changes to the side that couldn’t get past Villarreal in midweek. Starting in goal, January signing Mat Ryan could get another run out after he impressed last time out against Newcastle United. Injuries to Luiz and Mari means Rob Holding is set to pair up with Gabriel Magalhaes at the heart of the Gunners’ defence.
Hector Bellerin struggled big time against Villarreal in midweek and should drop out, as a result. In his place, Calum Chambers is in line to start at right-back. Kieran Tierney, meanwhile, has only recently returned from injury and looked well short of sharpness in midweek. He should make way for Cedric Soares on the left side of the Arsenal defence against West Brom.
Thomas Partey, who has had an underwhelming debut season in England, will be hoping to end the campaign strongly in the remaining four games. The Ghanaian should keep his place in the side to keep a check on West Brom’s midfield runners, Conor Gallagher and Matheus Pereira. He should have support from Mohamed Elneny, even though Dani Ceballos is available for selection after missing the midweek clash due to suspension.
Moving into the attacking third, Bukayo Saka is a certain starter at right-wing, given that he has been one of the few positives for Arsenal this season. On the opposite flank, there ought to be a change as Gabriel Martinelli, who had shone bright in the win against Newcastle, should be recalled into the lineup, with Nicolas Pepe making way.
Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe will vie for the No. 10 role. But the latter is likely to edge out the Real Madrid loanee, who struggled in midweek, whereas the Arsenal academy graduate was a rare positive in the game and earned praise from his manager as a result.
“He took responsibility in the second half, he really tried. He had a big chance to score and I think he was feeling responsible, which is a good reaction from him,” Arteta said in an interview with the club’s website on Friday. Finally, with Alexandre Lacazette recently recovering from an injury and Folarin Balogun being involved with the U23s on Friday, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should continue as the centre-forward for the Gunners.
Arsenal Predicted XI: Ryan; Chambers, Holding, Gabriel, Cedric; Partey, Elneny; Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli; Aubameyang