Arsenal will be looking to advance to the next round of FA Cup when they lock horns with Bournemouth at Dean Court on Monday. The Gunners are winless in their last three matches, but their most recent victory has come in the FA Cup against Leeds United in the previous round. And after a morale-boosting draw with Chelsea, they will be confident of their chances against the Cherries.
Here is how Arsenal might line up against Bournemouth on Monday.
Following a strenuous draw with Chelsea, it won’t be surprising to see Mikel Arteta giving Hector Bellerin a rest in this fixture, allowing Ainsley Maitland-Niles to replace him at right-back. However, no such changes will be made on the opposite flank, especially with both Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney out injured, meaning Bukayo Saka is a guaranteed starter.
David Luiz is suspended after picking up a straight red against his former club in midweek. Sokratis is also a doubt even though he has returned to training. Fortunately for Arteta, however, Rob Holding is back and is expected to return to the starting lineup, alongside Shkodran Mustafi at the heart of Arsenal’s four-man backline.
Bernd Leno, meanwhile, should make way for Emiliano Martinez in this cup fixture.
Granit Xhaka is tipped to receive a breather after emerging as one of the top performers in the last game. The Swiss international could make way for Matteo Guendouzi in central midfield. The ex-Lorient star is expected to start alongside Lucas Torreira in the double-pivot, though youngster Joe Willock is also an option.
Dani Ceballos, on the other hand, is expected to receive a rare start in the number ten slot, at the expense of Mesut Ozil. The Spaniard is yet to feature under Arteta since returning to injury and so this could be an excellent opportunity for him to make an impression.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will continue his spell on the sidelines due to suspension. And with Reiss Nelson out injured, Gabriel Martinelli is destined to retain his role at left-wing. Same can be said for Nicolas Pepe on the opposite flank, although the Ivorian certainly needs to improve his performances.
And finally, coach Arteta might look to award Eddie Nketiah an opportunity, at the expense of the tiring Alexandre Lacazette. The youngster has only returned from a loan spell at Leeds United this month. And with Aubameyang out, this could be an excellent opportunity for him to make a quick impact in the Arsenal first-team.
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