Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe could come into the lineup against Burnley as Arsenal eye back-to-back wins in the Premier League.
Arsenal are preparing for a physical battle when they visit Turf Moor to face Burnley. The Gunners finally scored their first points in the Premier League against Norwich City last weekend and will be aiming to keep the momentum going as Mikel Arteta looks to ease the pressure piled on him.
The Gunners are unscathed from their last matchday despite new signing Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Albert Sambi Lokonga being taken off as a precaution due to cramps. Mohamed Elneny and Rob Holding are, therefore, the only players out of this clash with injuries, while Granit Xhaka misses out due to his suspension.
Arteta could change the style for the Burnley clash to deal with their physically dominant forward line of Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes, although he will likely continue with a back four, with Tomiyasu sitting deeper to cover Ben White. The former Brighton & Hove Albion defender will be partnered by Gabriel Magalhaes at the heart of the Arsenal defence, with Kieran Tierney at left-back.
One of the questions Arteta was asked during his press conference was regarding the goalkeeping situation. The Arsenal boss was quizzed about the reason he started Aaron Ramsdale over Bernd Leno, to which the manager replied, “That we had to change something, and Aaron has come in here to try to make us better. We needed a result on the day, and I decided to play him, that’s all.”
Ramsdale did not do anything wrong and had a positive performance against Norwich, meaning he could get another start in goal, while Leno could remain on the bench.
The big question was pertaining to Thomas Partey and whether he could start against Burnley after only being on the bench against Norwich. The Ghanaian did come on in the second half and potentially changed the game’s outcome. And judging by Arteta’s comments, Partey would likely start the next round.
The Arsenal boss said, “He is there. He has been training in and out this week; his load had to be managed because it was the early stages of the injury, what he had, but he is pushing everyone like he always does, and he wants to be involved. We will decide at the weekend what is best for him.”
Albert Sambi Lokonga might partner Partey despite Ainsley Maitland-Niles making an impact in the last match. Martin Odegaard is set to keep his place in the central advanced midfield slot, while Bukayo Saka could shift to the right side.
Emile Smith Rowe is expected to come into the starting lineup, meaning Nicolas Pepe would only find a place on the bench. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will lead the line for Arsenal against Burnley, while Alexandre Lacazette will again be among the substitutes.
Predicted Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Lokonga; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Aubameyang