Arsenal enjoyed a perfect return to Premier League action after coming from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 at the Emirates. Brighton are next on the agenda with Mikel Arteta’s men travelling to the south coast as they seek to maintain their position five points clear at the top of the division with Manchester City ready to take advantage of any slip-ups.
The Gunners currently boast a relatively clean bill of health with just Gabriel Jesus and Reiss Nelson definitely out while Oleksandr Zinchenko could return from injury. Here Express Sport predicts how the team may line up for their final match of 2022.
Goalkeeper: Aaron Ramsdale
No prizes for guessing who will start between the sticks with Ramsdale Arteta’s clear No 1. The only way the Englishman would miss out on the starting lineup would be if he was to pick up an injury in the warm-up.
Defence: Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel, Oleksandr Zinchenko
Arsenal’s defence has been largely settled this season with White, Saliba and Gabriel having started every match so far and will do so again against Brighton.
The most rotation has come at left-back with Kieran Tierney, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Zinchenko all spending time in the position this season. However, it is the Ukrainian who has largely been Arteta’s first choice when fit and he could return from injury against Brighton. The move would be harsh on the Scot, who performed well against West Ham, but the Manchester City man is the best fit for the system.
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Forwards: Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli
Another area where there is likely to be little change is in the front three with Saka, Nketiah and Martinelli all finding the net during the win over West Ham. The two wingers have been on excellent form so far this season and will once again be the most dangerous attacking threats at New Year’s Eve.
Nketiah gave a good account of himself as he replaced the injury-stricken Jesus and will look to continue this form against Brighton as he looks to stake his claim for the No 9 position in the long term.