Mikel Arteta is set to name an unchanged side to face Watford, while Kieran Tierney should return to the squad after a recent injury.
Arsenal have momentum on their side heading into the latest matchday. The Gunners face Watford at the Emirates, with Mikel Arteta hoping to retain their unbeaten run going into the international break. After all, when club football action resumes, the north Londoners face a daunting task away at Liverpool.
Arteta is expected to field an unchanged starting lineup from their win away at Leicester City. So far, the Spaniard has kept the same team for the past two games and is unlikely to fiddle with things this time around.
Granit Xhaka is the only absentee from the squad, although the Swiss midfielder has started running as part of his rehabilitation from a knee problem. In his absence, Albert Sambi Lokonga has proved more than just an able deputy after some brilliant performances alongside Thomas Partey in midfield. The pair will start against Watford.
Arteta confirmed Kieran Tierney’s return to training which was evident on Arsenal’s social media accounts. The Scot has been missing in action the last few weeks after sustaining an injury during the 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace. In his absence, Nuno Tavares deputised and played some terrific football from left-back.
Credit to the Portuguese, he has ensured no one missed Tierney in recent weeks, as he was brought in specifically for this purpose as a reliable backup. However, Arteta, speaking to the press before the game, hardly gave away anything regarding team selections.
The Arsenal certainly admitted the Tierney/Tavares situation was a selection headache while confirming the left-back’s return to fitness. Arteta said, “Kieran has been training the last two days, he is feeling much better, so hopefully, he will be available.”
“Hopefully, we can have more of those dilemmas, so we have top players performing at the top level in many positions because that only raises the quality, the standards and the performances of the team.”
The Arsenal boss is unlikely to rush Tierney into the lineup just yet as he wants the Scot ready for Anfield. Meanwhile, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White and Gabriel are all expected to take their places in the other defensive positions, with Aaron Ramsdale now the undisputed first choice om goal for Arteta.
Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka will continue their roles as orthodox wingers, as they have been very effective in those roles recently. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette will continue to start in the strike partnership for Arsenal, with Martin Odegaard and Nicolas Pepe providing strong options from the bench.
Predicted Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tavares; Saka, Partey, Lokonga, Smith Rowe; Lacazette, Aubameyang