Arsenal face Southampton for the second time in four days on Tuesday aiming to maintain their impressive Premier League form.
Change is expected from Mikel Arteta in terms of his starting XI after he opted for rotation in the FA Cup affair at St. Mary’s. There will always be questions over whether a manager was right to make such changes when his team loses, but what is certain is that the Arsenal boss will be looking to field his strongest possible team tomorrow.
Bringing back players such as Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Thomas Partey from the start could prove decisive against what will likely be a fatigued Southampton after Ralph Hasenhüttl decided to start his first-choice team on Saturday. Their ever-present energy will doubtless cause problems.
From an absentee perspective, Pablo Marì and Dani Ceballos will probably continue to miss out due to their respective calf problems. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s personal issues will likely also see him join the non-attender list. Our thoughts are with our captain.
Arsenal predicted lineup to face Southampton in the Premier League on Tuesday
However, on a more positive note, Kieran Tierney will return after his well-earned rest on Saturday while new signing Martin Ødegaard could feature if his loan move to Arsenal is confirmed before tonight’s registration deadline. Onto the lineup:
Goalkeeper and Defenders
Bernd Leno (GK) – Who else? Leno has been absolutely fantastic lately and his place is under no threat despite the arrival of Maty Ryan from Brighton on loan. Nevertheless, it is comforting that the German now has an adequate understudy.
Hector Bellerin (RB) – Bellerin won’t be a universal preferred starter tomorrow but he likely will begin the match at right-back. After hooking Bellerin after 70 minutes on Saturday instead of Çedric, thus preserving his fitness, it was insinuated by Arteta that the Spaniard will retain his spot while Çedric will drop down to the bench.
Rob Holding (CB) – 25-year-old centre-half Rob Holding received a fair amount of stick for his performance on Saturday but he was certainly better than his partner, Gabriel, who struggled against the Saints. Holding, who has been a stalwart in Arsenal’s defence this year, will retain his spot.
David Luiz (CB) – Alongside Holding, David Luiz will likely slot in as a left-sided centre-back. The Brazillian has defended well lately and appears a more solid option than Gabriel at the moment who is lacking sharpness.
Kieran Tierney (LB) – Every time Tierney doesn’t start for Arsenal, it becomes all the more obvious just how crucial a cog in Arteta’s machinery the Scot is. He should be fighting fit after a well-earned rest last time out and will therefore start at left-back.