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

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Injury concerns, a quick turnaround and a disappointing match against City challenges Arteta for a strong response.

Arsenal v Charlton Athletic: Friendly Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

The excitement of Arsenal returning turned sour quickly. A promising opening half hour was halted by injuries to Granit Xhaka and Pablo Mari, before David Luiz entered and ended the match. A difficult way to open up the Gunners return, but that has been the way for the 2019-20 season. Mikel Arteta got it right when he said we delete that game and focus on Brighton.

With Arsenal’s injury news, David Luiz’s red card suspension, and the bench expanded to nine players this exercise is almost ‘name the senior squad’. It comes down to what formation will Arteta use against Brighton and how does he rotate the team after just three days.

Check out the gallery below for the predicted starting XI versus Brighton.

Notes on the XI

  • In the attacking third, Arteta can rotate in Lacazette, Pepe, Ozil and Martinelli, with only Laca having seen limited minutes against Man City. The match should set up well for Pepe and Martinelli to challenge Brighton’s defense wide, allow Lacazette to sit centrally and Ozil plenty of time on the ball.
  • With five games in short order the team will be forced to rotate and split squads - but the expanded bench allows for Aubameyang, Nelson, Nketiah, and Saka as potential attacking replacements.
  • In the middle of the pitch, Xhaka and Torriera are out. Ceballos seems like a safe bet to start as he was one of the players originally held out of the City game until Granit got hurt. Alongside him it comes down to AMN (who is a great sub option based on his versatility around the field), Willock and Guendouzi - both who started against City. I’ve gone with Douzi, but Saturday might give us insight on how Arteta ranks the two of them in the depth chart and their ability to play again in short order.
  • In Mustafi we trust. Seriously, this is where we are at. Chambers and Mari are out for the season. Luiz is suspended and Sokratis is still two weeks away. Which leaves Mustafi as the only known fit senior CB, then it’s the hope that Rob Holding is fit enough to return. After him, it’s likely AMN or Tierney, then Daneil Ballard or Zech Medley from the U23 squad.
  • Tierney and Bellerin had decent games against City, compared to the rest of the squad. And while Saka and AMN are workable options, Arteta really needs a win on Saturday. Meanwhile, the fitness status of Kolasinac and Soares remains unknown, not to mention how much Arteta rates either of them at the moment.

Bench

  1. Emiliano Martinez
  2. Zech Medley
  3. Ainsley Maitland-Niles
  4. Sead Kolasinac
  5. Bukayo Saka
  6. Joe Willock
  7. Eddie Nketiah
  8. Reiss Nelson
  9. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

How to watch

Saturday (6/20) at 10:00 am ET / 7:00 am PT on NBC Sports.