Match day two is underway, and with it comes a prime opportunity for the Gunners to keep a spot at the top of the table as they host West Ham today.
Arsenal’s first match of the 2020-2021 Premier League season couldn’t have gone any better. The Gunners’ emphatic 3-0 victory at Fulham showed a complete team performance and important contributions from new players Gabriel and Willian. They look to continue building on that momentum with today’s match, the first home match of the season at the Emirates for Mikel Arteta’s side.
After securing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s extension this week, the Gunners’ attack appears to be secure for the foreseeable future. The big question heading into the match will be: who starts on the right? Willian’s scintillating debut was nearly note-perfect, but Pepe is young, talented, and ready to contribute. Does Arteta look at a revolving door on the right to keep both fresh with a very tough fixture list ahead of them?
It will also be a great opportunity to continue to break in Gabriel, whose strong debut has Arsenal fans feeling confident in the defense for the first time in a long time. If he can help the defense keep another clean sheet, that will be a massive boost heading into next week and a statement to other teams that Arsenal will be tougher to break down than years past.
There is no reason to suspect that Arteta will deviate from his preferred 3-4-3 formation, which has brought tremendous success in recent matches. If it ain’t broke, why fix it, right?
Arsenal continue to be without the services of Calum Chambers, Gabriel Martnelli, Pablo Mari, and Shkodran Mustafi. David Luiz should be available for selection after his neck injury turned out to be not as severe as originally anticipated. Sokratis (calf) and Emile Smith Rowe (knee) are both unavailable as they recover from knocks. Xhaka is also a question mark after taking a minor knock against Fulham, but knowing him, he will find a way onto the pitch. Say what you will, but that guy is tough.
West Ham are far less impacted by injuries, as only Mark Noble and Jack Wilshere occupy their injured list. Both are game day decisions, but I do not expect to see much of Wilshere this season in general, as he has failed to impress manager David Moyes in his time with the Hammers.
How close was Nathan with his predicted lineup? Let’s take a look.
Arsenal: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Ceballos; Saka, Willian, Aubameyang; Lacazette
WHAT: Arsenal vs. West Ham
WHERE: The Emirates
WHEN: Saturday, September 19th, 12 PM PT | 3 PM ET | 8 PM BT
US TV: NBCSN and UNIVERSO (SP). Stream here.
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