Arsenal will be hoping to move to the top of the Premier League table with a victory over Brighton on Sunday afternoon. The Gunners underwhelmed in midweek against PSV when Mikel Arteta rotated his ranks in the Champions League, but the Spaniard won’t be keen to take any risks up against a Seagulls side that has performed well at the Emirates Stadium previously. Express Sport takes a look at how Arsenal could line up…
Goalkeeper: David Raya
Aaron Ramsdale starting between the sticks against PSV reinforced the idea that he is a rotational option for Arsenal now. As a result, loanee David Raya looks likely to start against Brighton, where there will be an emphasis on using his ball-playing ability to beat the Seagulls’ press.
Defence: Ben White, Gabriel, William Saliba, Oleksandr Zinchenko
With injury problems stacking up, Arteta has very few options in defence. White will need to be at his very best up against Kaoru Mitoma, whilst centre-back pairing Saliba and Gabriel are stalwarts at the Emirates. Zinchenko looks likely to replace Jakub Kiwior at left back despite his recent shaky performances, with his ability to drift into midfield and create overloads potentially viewed as a way that Arsenal can cause damage in central areas.
Midfield: Kai Havertz, Martin Odegaard, Declan Rice
With Thomas Partey still ruled out with injury, Arteta could lean on his tried-and-tested midfield trio on Sunday afternoon. The Spaniard will be wary of Brighton’s desire to retain possession so the presence of two attacking-minded midfielders could be key on the counter-attack when the ball is turned over. Havertz also provides an alternative option for the Gunners if they opt to change their shape and play with two central strikers, and he is likely to be favoured over Jorginho as a result.
Forwards: Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli
Speaking on Friday, Arteta revealed that Martinelli had overcome an illness and was in ‘contention’ to start against Brighton as a result. Therefore, Arsenal’s frontline picks itself, with Jesus favoured over Eddie Nketiah in recent weeks and repaying the faith of his manager. Leandro Trossard will therefore be forced to try and make an impact against his former side when entering the fray as a substitute, with the Belgium international capable of playing anywhere across the frontline and injecting further creativity into his side when called upon.