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Arsenal vs. Brighton: Premier League - Predicted Lineup & Bench

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How can Freddie Ljungberg switch up the Gunners as they search for three points?

Arsenal Training Session Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Welcome to the Fredie Ljungberg era. 0-1. But that’s not really his fault. With little time to prepare and the same mismatch team Unai Emery had to deal with, what could you expect. Now the reintroduction of Shkodran Mustafi into the Premier League starting XI is questionable, but it’s just one match.

Thursday Arsenal take on Brighton, the third straight league match against a team in the bottom five. Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Norwich proved the team continues to have serious issues without Emery. Which is why, given a few more days of practice, Ljungberg needs to be more aggressive and ruthless with this lineup choices.

Check out the gallery below for the predicted starting XI.

Notes on the XI

  • Sunday clearly didn’t work. The defense was slow, the attack wanted to press at times, and the midfield was lost. Well at least Guendouzi seemed to be trying. That being said Ljungberg has every right and opportunity to try something new against Brighton. Aubameyang clearly needs to start and Ozil is the only effective 10 the club has at the moment.
  • For this match I’d drop Willock and Lacazette to the bench, bringing in Pepe on the right and Reiss Nelson on the left. Both need to get back into regular playing time and can help offer something the attack has often lacked - width.
  • Guendouzi out shined Xhaka yet again on Sunday, and needs a midfield partner that can keep up with his - and the goal of the squad’s - pace. Enter Lucas Torreira. He’s still only 23, but Arsenal need to give him consistent starts or expect to see him exiting in the summer.
  • The back line against Norwich was a failure. Mustafi and Luiz as a center pairing is a disaster waiting to happen. Chambers isn’t a right back. And Sead Kolasinac has yet to find his 2018-19 form when he added so much to the left side attack. Queue wholesale changes.
  • Tierney and Sokratis are sure bets. If Holding is fit, he should come in alongside Sokratis - as they may be the best pairing once Holding is in form. At right back, I’m thinking Bellerin will be fit enough for the bench but not to start. It’s time to give Ainsley Maitland-Niles another match back in his familiar fill in role. He’s played 12 times for Arsenal this year and they only lost two of those - (1) the Liverpool penalty shoot out in the League Cup and (2) the 3-1 defeat against Liverpool. AMN is a much better RB option than Chambers, who eventually deserves another shot in the center of defense.

Bench

  1. Emiliano Martinez
  2. David Luiz
  3. Héctor Bellerín
  4. Joe Willock
  5. Bukayo Saka
  6. Alexandre Lacazette
  7. Gabriel Martinelli

How to watch

Thursday (12/5) at 3:15 pm ET / 12:15 pm PT on the NBC Sports Network.

It may take a few games to get an idea of how Ljungberg may want to set up this team differently. So until then, let us know in the comment section what your starting XI looks like.