Mikel Arteta could make changes to the Arsenal lineup against Newcastle United, with Kieran Tierney, Martin Odegaard, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles expected to start.
Arsenal will get back to winning ways after their defeat last weekend at Anfield when they face Newcastle United. Mikel Arteta will likely make minimal changes, as shifting too many players might hurt the team’s current rhythm. After that loss, the Newcastle fixture has plenty of importance from the perspective of the Gunners.
Heading into the game, Arteta confirmed that there were no fresh fitness concerns for Arsenal to deal with, while also providing an update on the condition of injury-enforced absentee Granit Xhaka. Speaking in his pre-match presser, the Spaniard said: “No, no news. Everyone is fine so far.”
On the matter of Xhaka, he added: “Hopefully he will be a little bit sooner than expected, he is training and pushing himself and all the staff so hard like he always does. He is in a good place, he is evolving well and hopefully we can have him a little bit earlier. It is still a bit early to decide.”
Aaron Ramsdale has established himself as the clear no.1 under Arteta with a series of impressive displays. Bernd Leno will continue to provide backup to the England international and will likely stick around till the end of the season before moving on.
Takehiro Tomiyasu seems like the preferred choice at right-back, while Ben White and Gabriel will continue their central defensive partnership. Kieran Tierney is expected to come in for Nuno Tavares, who had been in superb form until the Liverpool game.
Arteta could have continued with Tavares and given him the chance to rectify his mistakes from the last game. However, with Tierney fully fit and raring to go, it will be a wise decision to bring the Scottish full-back back into action,
Arteta will give an academy product a go in midfield, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles expected to feature from the start in place of Albert Sambi Lokonga. His partner in the middle of the park would likely be Thomas Partey, who is understandably fully fit despite looking rusty against Liverpool.
The attacking third could see further changes, as Arteta could bring in Martin Odegaard to play in the No. 10 role behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Alexandre Lacazette could be sacrificed in this system as the Frenchman could make an impact off the bench at some stage.
Arteta is unlikely to change things in wide areas for Arsenal against Newcastle United. Bukayo Saka should continue on the right side, while Emile Smith Rowe is the likeliest option from the left, which means Nicolas Pepe misses out again.
Predicted Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Maitland-Niles; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Aubameyang