Arsenal travel to Elland Road to take on Leeds United in the Premier League looking to rediscover their form after Aston Villa thumped them at the Emirates two weeks ago.
Finally, Premier League football is back, and we travel to face a Leeds United side who are on an indifferent run of form, much like Arsenal. After starting the season reasonably well, the wheels have well and truly fallen off for Marcelo Bielsa’s side having been demolished 4-1 in back to back games by Leicester City and Crystal Palace.
Midfielder Kalvin Phillips looks set to return to the side along with summer signing Rodrigo after the Brazillian has served his quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. Pablo Hernandez, Jamie Shackleton and Diego Llorente will all miss the match for the hosts as they look to get back to winning ways when they welcome Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.
Summer signing Thomas Partey is out for this one as he continues his recovery from a thigh injury sustained in the first half against Villa. Both Mo Elneny and Sead Kolasinac will also miss the trip after testing positive for COVID-19 while on international duty.
Youngster Gabriel Martinelli is progressing well from his knee injury but is still weeks away from returning. Both Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari have returned to full training with Chambers playing multiple games for the U/23s and pushing for first-team selection.
How Arsenal could line up
Our defence should remain the same with Hector Bellerin, Gabriel, Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney certainties to start. With both Elneny and Partey out, Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos should earn recalls and potentially we could see Joe Willock get some much-deserved minutes after impressing in the Europa League.
In attack it remains to be seen whether Willian will get a place in the starting eleven after his trip to Dubai during the international break however his form dictates, that he should be on the bench.
Ideally, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should play through the middle with Nicolas Pepe and either Bukayo Saka or Reiss Nelson out wide, although Saka was heavily involved for England and Arteta might rest the young star in fear of him burning out.
Potential team to face Leeds
Bernd Leno, Bellerin, Gabriel, Holding, Tierney, Xhaka, Ceballos, Willock, Saka, Aubameyang, Pepe
Arsenal have had their own share of up-and-down form and looked to have potentially turned a corner after beating Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford, however, that was all erased when Aston Villa came in and ripped Arsenal apart, the first time under Arteta in which his side essentially rolled over.
Either way, this shapes up as an important game for both sides as they look to rectify their poor form. Arsenal will start favourites, but Leeds are more than capable of finding the back of the net. Surely there will be a response from Arsenal after the Villa debacle and Leeds presents the perfect opportunity as they are badly out of form.
I expect goals and an improved performance from the Gunners on their way to claiming three important points. Leeds United 0-2 Arsenal.