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Arsenal predicted XI v Fulham: Mikel Arteta brings back ‘key figure’ as 26-year-old drops out

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal - Premier League
(Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Arsenal

Arsenal predicted XI v Fulham: Mikel Arteta brings back ‘key figure’ as 26-year-old drops out

Arsenal will hope to maintain their momentum on Sunday as they take on Premier League strugglers Fulham at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners’ morale is high following two resounding clean sheet wins in a row, against Sheffield United in the top flight and against Slavia Prague in the Europa League.

Meanwhile, Fulham failed to build on their shock win at Liverpool, losing their subsequent four league games in a row to remain 18th, having played a game more than the two sides above them.

Fulham v Arsenal - Premier League

(Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

In terms of team news, Arsenal are without four players – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Martin Odegaard, David Luiz and Kieran Tierney.

With that in mind, who could Mikel Arteta look to pick in his starting XI?

At centre-back, Pablo Mari and Rob Holding have done well together in the last two games, so Arteta could well stick with the same combination.

While Calum Chambers and Granit Xhaka have impressed on the flanks, there’s certainly scope for changing things round and giving others game time.

This would mean Hector Bellerin – a player Arteta has deemed a “key figure” at the club – and Cedric Soares coming back in, on the right and left respectively.

 

Chambers could potentially drop out, the versatile 26-year-old given a rest and kept on the bench where he can come in at right-back or centre-back.

However, Xhaka probably won’t make way – we predict he’ll resume his midfield partnership with Thomas Partey, meaning Dani Ceballos would make way.

Nicolas Pepe links up really well with Cedric on the left so he could retain his spot, and given Odegaard is sidelined, Emile Smith Rowe will probably remain at No. 10.

While Bukayo Saka could do with a rest, he’s just too important to omit, so he’ll probably retain his place, and Aubameyang’s absence means Alexandre Lacazette could also continue to lead the line.

Arsenal predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Cedric; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe; Lacazette

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