Brighton & Hove Albion vs Arsenal: Predicted starting XI for Arsenal | Premier League 2018-19
After back to back defeats in the Premier League and Carabao Cup, Arsenal scraped past Burnley in a rather unconvincing fashion, although the scoreline says otherwise. The Gunners weren’t their useful selves against The Clarets, with Unai Emery’s men unable to dominate the game like they usually do.
Level on points with Chelsea in fourth, The Gunners face a Boxing Day trip to Brighton, as they look to remain in the hunt for a place in the Champions League spots.
With the mounting injury crisis engulfing the club, and a tricky away trip to Liverpool later this week, here is how The Gunners are expected to line-up against Brighton.
No surprises here as Bernd Leno will start in goal. The German stopper was at his commanding best against The Clarets, although he couldn’t keep a clean sheet.
With Rob Holding, Konstantinos Mavropanos, & Nacho Monreal unavailable, and Shkodran Mustafi still a doubt for the clash against Brighton, Emery has no other choice but to start Sokratis and Laurent Koscielny, who happen to be the only fit centre-back pairing going into the game.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles has filled in for injured Hector Bellerin, and was rather unconvincing in the unfamiliar right-back role. The youngster is a midfielder by trade, and Unai Emery will be looking to start the experienced Swiss defender, Stephen Lichtsteiner, who is more of a natural fit for the job.
Sead Kolasinac is expected to start on the opposite flank.
Granit Xhaka has been used as a central defender in recent games, with the Swiss international struggling to replicate his form in an unfamiliar role. With Koscielny and Sokratis likely to pair at the heart of the defence, Xhaka is likely to be reinstated in midfield.
Lucas Torreira, with four yellow cards to his name, is likely to sit out the game, due to the clash against Liverpool at the weekend. Matteo Guendouzi is likely to start in his stead.
Mesut Ozil’s exploits against Burnley will likely see him retain his place as the most advanced midfielder in the XI.
Injuries to Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Danny Welbeck have severely limited Unai Emery’s options in the wide areas, with Alex Iwobi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang likely to start on the wings. The latter in particular, is the Premier League’s top goal scorer, with 12 goals to his name.
Alexandre Lacazette is likely going to spearhead the attack.