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Arsenal at Leeds United preview: and we’re back

The Gunners renew acquaintances with the Whites / Peacocks.

Arsenal Training Session Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal resume their Premier League campaign with a trip up the M1 to renew their rivalry with Leeds United. Marcelo Bielsa’s side have been entertaining since returning to the top flight; they play wide open, attacking football that has led to buckets of goals. They’ve scored 14 through 8 matches and have conceded a tied-for-worst 17.

Leeds’ leaky defense may be the panacea that Arsenal’s foundering attack needs. The Gunners’ attacking struggles have been well documented — they don’t create enough chances, generate enough shots, or score enough goals. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is mired in one of the worst league goal droughts of his career, and Alexandre Lacazette can’t seem to hit the broad side of a barn. Mikel Arteta needs to make some kind of adjustments and fast, otherwise Arsenal’s poor offensive output will consign them to the mid-table for another season.

Look for Granit Xhaka to partner Dani Ceballos in the Arsenal midfield because Thomas Partey is out with the thigh injury he picked up before the international break and Mohamed Elneny has COVID-19. I’d like to see Joe Willock get a look-in because his movement might spark the attack, but I think it’s a long shot. Sead Kolasinac will also miss out after he tested positive for COVID-19 during the international break. Calum Chambers started for the U-21’s earlier this week and is continuing to work towards a first team return. Pablo Mari was expected to return to first team training this week, but it’s not clear whether he has.

By far the best piece of Arsenal injury news is that Gabriel Martinelli has returned to training. He’s not yet a full participant but has joined some of the group work. Perhaps he will return a bit sooner than expected and provide the offensive spark the Gunners need.

Leeds have midfielder Kalvin Phillips back in contention after he’d missed a few weeks with a shoulder injury. Attacking midfielder Pablo Hernandez has a slight knock that will keep him out on Sunday. Centerback Diego Llorente is still out for Bielsa’s side; he is still yet to make his Leeds debut. England youth international Jamie Shackleton is also out.

WHAT: Arsenal at Leeds United
WHERE: Elland Road
WHEN: Sunday, November 22nd 8:30 AM PT | 11:30 AM ET | 4:30 PM BT
US TV: NBCSN. Stream here.

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