Arsenal have started the 2020/21 season in promising fashion as they won on penalties against Liverpool in the Community Shield and then beat Fulham 3-0 at Craven Cottage in their first Premier League game of the campaign.
It was a comfortable victory for the Gunners and Mikel Arteta will be hoping for more of the same when the north London side face capital rivals West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium tonight in their first home match of the new campaign.
Here is the Transfer Tavern’s predicted XI, which sees Arteta make two changes for the game from the team that beat Fulham a week ago:
Last week, Bernd Leno made his first appearance since the horrific injury he suffered against Brighton in June and he would have been happy to keep a clean sheet. Emiliano Martinez’s move to Aston Villa highlights how much faith Arteta has in the German to be the number one goalkeeper at the club.
The back three will probably stay the same as they performed very well against Fulham, especially new signing Gabriel Magalhaes. The centre-back picked up the joint-best rating on the pitch (8.1) as he made two tackles, won four aerial duels and also managed to find the net, per SofaScore.
The two changes that could happen will be in the midfield quarter. Dani Ceballos, who re-signed on loan from Real Madrid, did not start against Fulham but came on for the final 12 minutes, winning two ground duels and completing his only dribble attempt. It would not be a surprise to see him link up alongside Granit Xhaka once more like the two frequently did last season, and this would see Mohammed Elneny, who has been linked with a move away, drop to the bench.
Meanwhile, another player who has been linked with clubs across Europe – including Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich – is right-back Hector Bellerin, who is valued at £28.8m. It could be argued that these links have affected him as he picked up the joint-lowest rating out of the Arsenal starting XI (6.9) last week and picked up a yellow cardwas dribbled past once and lost the ball 13 times, per SofaScore. Arteta could move Ainsley Maitland-Niles across to right midfield and pick Young Player of the Year nominee Bukayo Saka at left midfield in his place.
There is no need to change the front three from the Craven Cottage win as captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored, Willian provided two assists on his Premier League debut for the club, and Alexandre Lacazette also found the net, per SofaScore.
Gunners fans, what are your thoughts on this starting XI! Comment below with your views!
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