Arsenal will face Brighton & Hove Albion in a couple of hours at the Amex Stadium in a fixture that will give Unai Emery a chance to rotate his squad in the thick of the festive action. The Gunners will face Liverpool on the 29th in what will be the highlight fixture before the New Year. Emery has defensive issues to contend with and he will have to take a couple of crucial calls in his team selection tonight.
Arsenal bounced back with a 3-1 win over Burnley after a shock loss against Southampton before that. It was indeed a wake-up call for Emery and his boys, and we will find it hard to witness any such complacency in the near future.
PRE-MATCH MINI TRIVIA
- Arsenal are undefeated in 15 out of their last 16 Premier League matches.
- Brighton have lost their last three league matches.
The above stats certainly bodes well from Arsenal’s point of view, and it will take a mammoth effort from the home side to change their current run of form.
ARSENAL TEAM NEWS
Nacho Monreal again finds himself on the treatment table though Emery is hoping it is not a serious issue this time around. Laurent Koscielny is expected to start in his place. Shkodran Mustafi is also close to a return but is unlikely to feature. Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Danny Welbeck, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mavropanos and Smith-Rowe remain out.
PREDICTED ARSENAL LINEUP VS BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
Bernd Leno will start in goal. He had a fairly comfortable time against Burnley and can expect a similar 90 minutes tonight.
We are going with a 3-man backline despite the injury issues. We expect Laurent Koscielny to start on the right of the defensive line. Granit Xhaka is likely to start on the left with Sokratis continuing at the heart of the defence.
Lichtsteiner can start as the right fullback in place of the injured Bellerin with Sead Kolasinac lining up on the opposite flank.
Lucas Torreira is likely to start in central midfield along with fellow new signing Matteo Guendouzi. There have been talks surrounding Lucas and the possibility of him picking up his fifth yellow of the season which will see him miss the crucial Liverpool clash. But Emery has refuted suggestions of resting the fan-favourite for tonight’s match based on that.
Mesut Ozil had a good outing against Burnley along with Aubameyang. But with options at his disposal, Emery might well go with Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey in attack with Alexandre Lacazette leading the line. The Frenchman has not played a whole lot recently and should start with Aubameyang getting a well-deserved rest.