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Premier League: Arsenal vs. Wolverhampton - Predicted Starting XI & Bench

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After a tumultuous week, how will Unai Emery move forward?

FBL-ENG-LCUP-LIVERPOOL-ARSENAL Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Has anything happened over the past week in the world of Arsenal? The Gunners gave up a two goal lead against Crystal Palace. Granit Xhaka and a set of angry fans need a little space to cool down. Mesut Ozil and Lucas Torreira returned from exile to feature in the Carabao Cup. An exciting 5-5 draw against Liverpool that saw Arsenal eliminated on penalty kicks. And the continuation of Gabriel Martinelli’s impressive debut season for the club.

All of that and then the consistent swirling reports of Unai Emery, his future at the club, and how things are behind the scenes. However, there is still football to be played, and nothing helps the healing process better than victories. Arsenal host 12th place Wolverhampton on Saturday, looking to gain ground on the top four.

Emery needs a win. The big three attackers are fit, but exactly how he handles the middle of the pitch is where the focus will be Saturday. Will we even see Granit Xhaka at the Emirates this weekend or will be be given some time away? Ozil brought the attack to life on Wednesday, so is he rewarded?

Check out the gallery below for the predicted starting XI.

Notes on the XI

  • The front three will continue to start Premier League matches together because (a) they should and (b) Emery needs them to continue to build an attacking rhythm with Pepe.
  • Yes, I’m tempting fate here by rolling the dice on a second Mesut Ozil start. He played well against Liverpool on Wednesday and was subbed out early as he builds back up towards being fit for a full 90. For some reason I still hold out hope that Emery will realize how valuable it is to include Ozil and include him on a regular basis.
  • Xhaka will likely be left out of the 18 after last week’s events. Guedouzi is a safe bet. Torreira final got a look on Wednesay, but I’m guessing he lands on the bench Saturday. If Ozil starts, I’ve got Ceballos pairing with Guedouzi. If Ozil doesn’t, Emery likely shifts Ceballos forward and brings in Willock or Torreira.
  • The only notable decision on the back line is at right back. Hector played the full match against Liverpool and it’s doubtful Emery will push him to go twice in such a short span of time coming off his long rehab. Chambers has the confidence of the coach at the moment and should get the nod over Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Bench

  1. Emiliano Martinez
  2. Rob Holding
  3. Hector Bellerin
  4. Bukayo Saka
  5. Joe Willock
  6. Lucas Torreira
  7. Gabriel Martinelli

How to watch

Saturday (11/2) at 11:00 am ET / 8:00 am PT on CNBC & NBC Sports app.

Now it’s your turn to give us your thoughts in the comment section below. Does Xkaha return to the starting XI? Will Emery give Ozil a second match in a row?