Thomas Partey (RCM) – The underlying dread of Partey suffering another injury is impossible to shake off. For Arsenal to achieve their goals this season they’ll need him fully fit for the remainder, so a decision on his fitness has to be taken with caution.
Partey’s importance to this Arsenal team is unmistakable, though. Well and by far the best of his ilk in the squad, the general improvement is vast when he plays. Furthermore, against a side who love to play on the counter-attack, his shielding skills and interceptions will be warmly received.
Emile Smith Rowe (AM) – Can’t drop him, can you? The only player of his kind in the squad, for all the corners Arsenal have supposedly turned in recent weeks, it’s hard to envisage those wins being forthcoming if he was taken out of the side.
From being plunged into a creative crisis, Arsenal are now in a position where they need to acquire a backup to their Croydon De Bruyne. How the tables have turned.
Still need another couple of creative midfielders, mind you.
Granit Xhaka (LCM) – Arteta understands that his midfielders are not at the level required to take the team in the direction he wants. Until he can make the additions he feels will propel them back up the table, he has to play his most trusted ones.
Whether that’s a statement many agree with or not, Granit Xhaka will get the nod as he falls under that bracket for the Spaniard.