Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Martin Odegaard are set to return, but Emile Smith Rowe could miss out when Arsenal take on Chelsea.
Arsenal will be eager to continue their recent upswing in the Premier League when they lock horns with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night. And, Mikel Arteta is sweating over the fitness of a key first-team player ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Emile Smith Rowe picked up a knock last time out against West Bromwich Albion and he is a slight doubt for the short trip to take on Chelsea. While the young playmaker might be fit to make the bench, he could miss the cut for the starting lineup. David Luiz (hamstring) and Granit Xhaka (groin), though, appear set to miss out, while the game might have come too soon for Pablo Mari.
During his pre-match press conference, Arteta gave little away on the team news front apart from an update on Luiz. The Arsenal boss said, “We have to see today, there were some issues over the weekend again. We are playing every three days and there is no time to train yet, today is the first day so we will have to wait and see.
“Yes [there were] some injuries, yes. Well the situation with David [Luiz] is that he is not yet recovered, we will see how he does in the next few weeks. The rest are still in contention but we will have to see today how they come.”
In Luiz’s continued absence, Rob Holding and Gabriel Magalhaes will continue pair up at the heart of the Arsenal defence, with Calum Chambers starting as the right-back again. On the left flank, though, Kieran Tierney should be recalled, with Bukayo Saka making way after being deployed as a makeshift left-back against West Bromwich Albion. In goal, Bernd Leno ought to keep his place.
Up ahead in midfield, Thomas Partey is likely to be recalled after being given a bit of a breather. The Ghanaian midfielder will likely replace Dani Ceballos, with the improving Mohamed Elneny expected to line up alongside him in the double pivot. Meanwhile, Emile Smith Rowe was one of the better performers for Arsenal against West Bromwich Albion.
However, his iffy fitness situation could mean Martin Odegaard will start in his stead to reprise the no. 10 role. On the right flank, Nicolas Pepe, who impressed last time out, should retain his spot, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ought to return on the left wing. Finally, Alexandre Lacazette is expected to lead the line for Arsenal against Chelsea.
Arsenal Predicted XI: Leno; Chambers, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Elneny; Pepe, Odegaard, Aubameyang; Lacazette