After brushing off the controversy of last week’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle with a routine win over Sevilla in midweek, Arsenal will be keen to bolster their title hopes with a win over Burnley. It’s the final game before the Gunners head off to the international break and they’ll be favorites to claim victory in some style.
Mikel Arteta is likely to be without several of his key players for this one though. Jurrien Timber, Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe have all definitely been ruled out, while Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah and Takehiro Tomiyasu are all doubts.
With that in mind picking a team could be even more difficult for the Spaniard. Thankfully though football.london‘s Arsenal writers Kaya Kaynak and Tom Canton are on hand to decide who they think should start Saturday’s clash at the Emirates Stadium.
TOaya Kaynak – Chief Arsenal Correspondent
David Raya essentially got a rest in midweek with how little he had to do. Even though Aaron Ramsdale’s England place is at threat for the Euros I think you still have to opt for the Spaniard right now.
In front of him I’m going for a back for White, Saliba, Gabriel and Zinchenko. I think even if Takehiro Tomiyasu wasn’t a fitness doubt I’d go for the Ukrainian as he’s born for these kind of matches against opposition who leave plenty of spaces at the back.
With that in mind I think you can go for a slightly more offensive midfield three. I’d drop Declan Rice deeper into the six role and have Kai Havertz and Fabio Vieira either side of him.
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In the attacking areas I think if Saka is fit then he simply has to play. Gabriel Martinelli meanwhile was superb against Sevilla and I think that’s because of the link up he has with Leandro Trossard. I’m starting the Belgian again even if Eddie Nketiah may be back in contention.
Kaynak’s Arsenal XI vs Burnley – Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Rice, Havertz, Vieira; Jacket, Trossard, Martinelli.
Tom Canton – Arsenal writer
Arsenal were very impressive in midweek against Sevilla. A Champions League night which turned into something akin to a training session for the Gunners as they took control of their group and took the pressure off what will be a hectic winter period.
Burnley are the opponents before the international break and the win over Sevilla showcased Leandro Trossard’s abilities again in the centre-forward position. However, despite this Eddie Nketiah has returned to training and is in contention for this weekend.
Therefore for my team I have thrown caution to the wind and it will not be Fabio Vieira coming into the midfield but the Belgian moving further back just like he did during preseason to great effect. Nketiah therefore moves into the central role with Kai Havertz and Declan Rice completing an offensive midfield trio.
Bukayo Saka will have hoped to shake off the issues of the week and be ready to face Vincent Kompany’s side along with Gabriel Martinelli. A big win before the break would be great.
Takehiro Tomiyasu I am less certain will be risked after he “felt something” after the European win. Oleksandr Zinchenko therefore comes in for the full-back and joins Ben White, William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes with David Raya continuing in goal.
Canton’s Arsenal XI vs Burnley: Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Rice, Havertz, Trossard; Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli
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