Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta could make some changes, bringing Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka back, while Emile Smith Rowe remains a doubt for the Everton clash.
Mikel Arteta will aim to bounce back from the disappointing defeat at Old Trafford as Arsenal continue their journey on the road towards Merseyside. After Tottenham, Manchester United and West Ham registered wins at the weekend, the Everton clash has more importance than ever as the Gunners aim to regain the fifth spot.
Emile Smith Rowe is a doubt for the game after feeling some muscular discomfort following the Manchester United clash. Arteta confirmed the news, and without ruling him out completely, the manager insisted a late fitness test might determine his participation against Everton.
At his press conference on Saturday, Arteta said, “He had some discomfort during the game and we decided to take him off. He’s been evolving well over the last few days, so we have to wait until tomorrow to see how he is.”
Further, speaking on the fitness of Granit Xhaka, Arteta hinted at involving the midfielder against Everton, probably from the bench. He said, “This week he has progressed again to a different level, and tomorrow we will assess how he is, have a conversation with him and decide when is the best moment to start to give him some exposure in games.”
Xhaka has been missing from action since injuring his knee against Tottenham earlier in the season, missing eight games so far in the Premier League. He was supposed to return only around January, but he was involved in training with the team this week.
While Xhaka may play some role on Monday, Mohamed Elneny could drop out, paving the way for Albert Sambi Lokonga’s return to the lineup. The Belgian will partner Thomas Partey, who has not been in the best of form for a few games now.
Meanwhile, Arteta could make one change to the backline, as Kieran Tierney is primed to replace Nuno Tavares in the lineup. The summer signing has kept the Scottish international out of the team for a series of games now but could get a breather against Everton. The rest of the backline is expected to remain intact.
With Smith Rowe a doubt, Arteta might not risk him when he has options to play around, irrespective of the late fitness test. Gabriel Martinelli could play on the left as Saka returns to the lineup on the right side of the attack.
Martin Odegaard should continue in the side and keep Alexandre Lacazette on the bench, as Arteta is set to play with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as his leading man despite the Gabonese star’s struggles in recent weeks.
Arsenal Predicted XI: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Lokonga; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Aubameyang