Arsenal could remain unchanged against Leicester City, but Emile Smith Rowe could return to the matchday squad alongside Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Arsenal’s victory over Crystal Palace last Friday showed a lack of depth in their squad. This could be partly the reason for Mikel Arteta to make late substitution calls as the game was still in the balance. However, against Leicester City on Saturday, the Arsenal boss could have some of his key players back in the matchday squad, which improves the overall quality.
Takehiro Tomiyasu, Fabio Vieira and Emile Smith Rowe have returned to full training this week after shrugging off recent fitness troubles. Reiss Nelson, however, suffered a quad injury which will keep him out of action for a couple of months.
Arteta was asked about Vieira, who has not been involved in first-team activities due to a fitness concerns since joining Arsenal. On the Portuguese, the manager said, “It might take him now time to get there, depending on who he’s playing with and how the game goes – it could take him no time to adapt. What I can tell you is that he’s doing everything he can to make that process really short.”
Arteta also spoke about Tierney, after his cameo against Palace, saying, “He played 15-20 minutes last weekend and did really well. He’s been out for a long time after the knee injury, but it looks in perfect condition now and ready to go.”
While the comments on Tierney indicate the left-back is fully fit, there are still doubts over Vieira’s involvement on Saturday. However, Smith Rowe and Tomiyasu are pencilled in for a return to the matchday squad, drastically improving Arteta’s bench options.
As for the team, the starting lineup should remain unchanged against Leicester City, as Arteta will seek continuity with his side. Aaron Ramsdale is the top choice between the posts, with Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes and Oleksandr Zinchenko starting as the back four ahead of the Arsenal no. 1.
Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka are undisputed choices to hold the midfield, with Martin Odegaard playing an advanced role ahead of the duo. Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli will provide the attacking impetus from the wide areas, with Gabriel Jesus leading the line in his first competitive game at the Emirates.
Arsenal Predicted XI: Ramsdale; Ben White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Jesus