Arsenal roster set to start against Brighton
Arsenal can end 2020 with back-to-back Premier League wins – to everyone’s surprise – when they visit Brighton on Tuesday.
Mikel Arteta’s side have endured a scorching spell in the league so far this season and were winless since November 1 until they fought for a much needed 3-1 win over Chelsea this week. -end.
Brighton isn’t the easiest place to go given their fragile form and poor one-on-one record against the Seagulls, but a win would be huge by taking them away from the bottom of the table and moving up the ranks, Brighton being currently four. points behind them in 16th.
The Gunners looked much improved against Chelsea thanks to a change in form and attitude. Here’s who should start against the Seagulls in what was previously considered a relegation six pointer.
Bernd Leno (GK) – Saved a penalty against Chelsea which will do wonders for the confidence not only of himself but also of his defenders.
Hector Bellerin (RB) – Bellerin has been the subject of criticism this season, but has been huge over the weekend and thrived after being named captain. More of the same and it can be the key to a fortuitous turnaround.
Rob Holding (CB) – The outfit has also been criticized and, frankly, is part of the problem at Arsenal in that the team are just not good enough. His engagement cannot be doubted, however, and he will probably do it again here.
Shkodran Mustafi (CB) – Pablo Mari looked seriously shaky this weekend and with fast and thick edits, spinning is a must. Mustafi was a late substitute against Chelsea and could get the nod against Brighton.
Kieran Tierney (LB) – Like Bellerin, Tierney got a new lease of life and looked a lot sharper in a rear four. There were still some questionable moments, but his attacking prowess will be key to this one.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (DM) – Arsenal’s utility man is seriously underrated, but has the chance to prove his worth during a turbulent time of year. Maitland-Niles’ versatility will be key in the coming weeks and take the pressure off his teammates.
Granite Xhaka (DM) – Scored a free kick in the Gunners’ 3-1 win at Chelsea and will be needed to ensure Arsenal dominate midfielders against Brighton, who have their own competent midfielder.
Nicolas Pepe (RW) – With matches to come, Arsenal’s record signing is back in the XI against Brighton. Gabriel Martinelli must be protected on his return from injury, the Ivorian therefore has his chance and must seize it.
Emile Smith Rowe (AM) – Smith Rowe slipped under the radar against Chelsea but was quietly a strong addition to the XI. Solid ball movement, quick passing and fearlessness against defenders is exactly what Arsenal is lacking at the moment.
Bukayo Saka (LW) – Saka is one of the few bright lights in Arsenal’s dark era. The 19-year-old appears to be a threat every time he touches the ball and can do so from either side of the pitch. Trust the youth, Mikel.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) – Aubameyang needs to start scoring on his return from injury in order to relieve the pressure on his side. He will be called up for Tuesday’s trip, which is the perfect opportunity for him to come back among the goals and really kick off his campaign.