Arsenal will host Brighton & Hove Albion at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday on the back of three consecutive losses in the Premier League. The Gunners, however, were the only English side to win in Europe this midweek, thanks to a 3-1 win over Valencia. Unai Emery will expect similar performance on the weekend.
Emery is likely to switch to a 3-4-2-1 formation to accommodate an extra attacking midfielder. We could also expect a lot of rotations with the Spaniard having one eye on the second-leg tie against Valencia next week.
3-4-2-1 Arsenal lineup vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Bernd Leno will return in goal, replacing the cup goalkeeper Petr Cech, who had a decent outing in the win over Los Che on Thursday. The German will be aiming for his first clean sheet since mid-April.
Veteran defender Laurent Koscielny could make way for Nacho Monreal in central defence. The Spaniard will look to use his excellent positioning sense to clear out any potential counter-attacking opportunities for Brighton.
Monreal will be partnered by Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi at the heart of Arsenal’s three-man backline. Mustafi, however, will be under the cosh after a series of inconsistent performances in the past few weeks.
Elsewhere, Carl Jenkinson could return to the starting lineup, replacing Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the right wing-back slot. The 27-year-old will undoubtedly offer more defensive solidity when compared to Maitland-Niles. Arsenal are likely to overload the left-hand-side, where Sead Kolasinac will operate as the wing-back.
Lucas Torreira was surprisingly left on the bench against Valencia, though the Uruguayan international did appear as a substitute later in the game. He is, however, a guaranteed starter in central midfield in this fixture, with Matteo Guendouzi likely to make way.
Granit Xhaka will partner Torreira in Arsenal’s double-pivot. The Swiss international will be in charge of circulating possession and bringing others into the game with his impressive passing range.
The Arsenal attack will be spearheaded by Alexandre Lacazette, who scored a brace in the win over Valencia. His offensive partner in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be given a breather in this one, thus paving the way for Alex Iwobi to return to the starting eleven.
Iwobi will operate as the wide-attacking midfielder on the left while Henrikh Mkhitaryan will occupy the right-hand slot. The Armenian international will replace Mesut Ozil.
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