A miserable week for Arsenal, which culminated in a 4-1 blow at the hands of Manchester City in the Carabao Cup, could get worse as Mikel Arteta’s side clash with London rivals Chelsea on Boxing Day .
The Gunners have inexplicably lost eight of their 14 Premier League games, scoring a meager two points out of a possible 21. to firmly defend his former second in command after their clash in the Emirates.
A win over local rivals Chelsea would be huge, with Frank Lampard’s side in fifth place and looking much better than their neighbors in the Emirates.
Here, 90 mins picks the team that could – and must – lead Arsenal to three points.
Bernd Leno (GK): The German gunman made way in the week for
Runar Runarsson, but will have no problem coming back to the side after the Icelandic impersonates the first Loris Karius.
Rob Holding (CB): The 25-year-old Arsenal skipper will have the last chance to reunite with Timo Werner.
Gabriel Magalhaes (CB): After serving a one-match ban, Gabriel is expected to return directly to Arsenal’s side.
Kieran Tierney (CB): The Scot has been one of the few solid players Arsenal have had so far this season.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (RWB): Hector Bellerin’s polaroid skills could be improved upon once again, as Maitland-Niles has generally looked solid since returning to the team.
Dani Ceballos (CM): As Granit Xhaka serves the last of his three ban matches, Ceballos will likely stay in midfield – even if he has been well below par.
Mohamed Elneny (CM): The Egyptian found himself alongside Arsenal, but no one is quite sure how or why. Oh, because Thomas Partey is injured – that explains it.
Bukayo Saka (LWB): Another brilliant spark that just needs a run to the side and a consistent position to play.
Nicolas Pepe (RW): Willian was really pretty ordinary, despite some successful completion statistics saying otherwise. Time for a £ 72million signing to step up? Probably.
Alexandre Lacazette (ST): Got his goal against Manchester City midweek which was crucial as he barely sniffed in front of goal. Should wave to Eddie Nketiah.
Joe Willock (LW): With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in doubt and Gabriel Martinelli injured again in midweek, Willock could have another opportunity in a more advanced role.