Aided by Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-1 draw at Liverpool, Arsenal can move four points clear of their London rivals with a win against Leeds. The Gunners’ normally steadfast defence has failed to keep a clean sheet in six games, but they’ve offset that by averaging three goals per game in their wins over Manchester United, Chelsea and West Ham United.
Leeds, meanwhile, have navigated their way out of the relegation zone under Jesse Marsch, but still have a long way to go to confirm their safety. The Whites have lost their last four away games against the Gunners and have failed to keep a clean sheet on Arsenal soil in nearly three decades.
Arsenal vs Leeds United team news
Ben White is in contention to start after missing the win against West Ham with injury. Mikel Arteta may, however, be unwilling to axe Rob Holding after his impressive display against the Hammers.
Nuno Tavares has had a disastrous few weeks as a starter but given Arsenal’s lack of options, he might get another chance to prove his worth.
Eddie Nketiah has led the line admirably in recent weeks and should get the nod once again, ahead of Alexandre Lacazette.
Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney are long-term absentees.
Stuart Dallas fractured his femur in the loss to Manchester City and is expected to be out for a few months at the very least. Leeds will also be without the services of Adam Forshaw, Crysencio Summerville and Tyler Roberts. Patrick Bamford is closing in on full fitness but is unlikely to be risked here.
Liam Cooper is pushing for a start after missing out against City.
Arsenal vs Leeds United predicted starting lineups
Arsenal predicted starting lineups (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Tavares; Xhaka, Elneny; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Nketiah
Leeds United predicted starting lineups (4-2-3-1): Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Struijk, Firpo; Klich, Phillips; Raphinha, Rodrigo, Harrison; James
Arsenal vs Leeds United key players
Arsenal – Granit Xhaka
Arsenal have a plethora of talented players in their attack, but Leeds like to press under Jesse Marsch. Granit Xhaka will hence be key as the onus will be on him to bypass the press and find the attackers with his distribution. If Leeds can close him down well, then they could cut the supply to Arsenal’s attackers.
Leeds United – Kalvin Phillips
Phillips is very much the heart-beat of the midfield as he can break play and start counterattacks. Arsenal have weaknesses at the back, and if Phillips can find the right passes on the break, Leeds could create a few openings at the Emirates.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Leeds United