Mother Nature means Arsenal’s preparations for their upcoming Champions League duel at Lens haven’t been ideal.
Stormy conditions in the south of England mean the Gunners will arrive in France much later than anticipated ahead of their second group game on Tuesday night.
Mikel Arteta’s side purred as they celebrated their Champions League return with a dashing 4-0 win over PSV, but Lens will present an alternate challenge for the unbeaten Gunners. Arsenal were in fine form at the weekend in another 4-0 rout, this time over Bournemouth, and Arteta will undoubtedly have one eye on Sunday’s massive Premier League bout with Manchester City.
Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Lens – Champions League
Here’s how the Gunners could line up in Lens on Tuesday.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
David Raya (GK) – The Spaniard earned another clean sheet in Arsenal colours on Saturday and has seemingly usurped Aaron Ramsdale as the club’s number one.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (RB) – Tomiyasu deserves minutes, and Arteta could rotate here with Ben White dropping out ahead of Sunday’s duel with Man City.
William Saliba (CB) – The majestic Frenchman has started the season superbly and will return to his homeland on Tuesday night.
Gabriel (CB) – Gabriel has been stout alongside Saliba, and Arteta won’t be breaking up this partnership for a while – injuries permitting.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (LB) – The Ukrainian’s minutes are being managed well and he should be ready for another start in midweek.
Declan Rice (DM) – Back discomfort failed to keep Rice out at the weekend, and he should retain his place in the team despite Thomas Partey returning to training.
Kai Havertz (CM) – The German produced his best display of his young Arsenal career at the weekend, and will likely be given the chance to build on that momentum.
Martin Odegaard (CM) – The Nordic creator was in tip-top form at Bournemouth, while his best performance of the campaign so far arrived in this competition on Matchday 1. His ability to thread the needle will be crucial on Tuesday.
Bukayo Saka (RW) – Despite hobbling off on Saturday, Saka trained ahead of this one and should keep his place in the team given his Iron Man status.
Gabriel Jesus (ST) – After his quiet showing out wide, Jesus will welcome a return to the centre-forward position.
Leandro Trossard (LW) – The Belgian was an unused substitute on Saturday, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him thrust back into the team on Tuesday given that he’s had a few more days to fully recover.