Arsenal are scheduled to start the 2020/21 Premier League campaign with an away trip to newly-promoted Fulham on Saturday afternoon.
The Gunners have traditionally been slow starters and they have won just three of the previous ten games in the opening matchday.
Still, they will head into tomorrow’s game as the firm favourites on the back of their recent FA Cup and Community Shield success.
Ahead of the London derby, the Gunners will be without seven players and that includes David Luiz, who has been ruled out with a neck spasm.
Let’s have a look at the potential starting lineup.
Emiliano Martinez starred in the injury absence of Bernd Leno during the final months of the previous season, but it is clear that latter will be the first-choice goalkeeper, now that he has returned to full fitness.
Martinez appears to be on the move this summer in the quest for regular playing time and Goal.com has reported that he won’t make the matchday squad for the trip to Craven Cottage.
A three-man central defence appears the likely solution on Saturday, but Mikel Arteta has his options limited with Luiz, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Pablo Mari, Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers out injured.
Rob Holding is the only fit centre-back with Premier League experience at Arteta’s disposal. The 24-year-old should make the starting lineup and he could be accompanied by left-back Kieran Tierney and William Saliba.
Tierney has excelled on the left side of the three-man backline and he should continue to feature in the same role until Arteta chooses to revert to the traditional 4-2-3-1 setup.
Saliba appears likely to make his competitive debut ahead of summer signing Gabriel Magalhaes, who only started regular training this week after serving a 14-day quarantine.
The futures of Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have been speculated in the media, but they are still very much in the manager’s plans. Bellerin and Maitland-Niles should take up the right and left-wing back positions respectively.
Dani Ceballos is back into the mix after rejoining the club on another season-long loan from Real Madrid. He formed a solid midfield partnership with Granit Xhaka after the winter break last term and the pair are expected to start together.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Elneny did a credible job against Liverpool in the Community Shield triumph last month and the Egypt international could make the matchday squad ahead of midfield duo Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi, who continued to be linked with summer exits.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been in fine form for the Gunners and he has been directly involved in the club’s last eight goals across all competitions, out of which he has scored seven.
He is expected to start in his regular role on the left side of the attack. Nicolas Pepe, who impressed in the FA Cup final against Chelsea earlier last month, should feature in the opposite flank.
Alexandre Lacazette is likely to lead the line ahead of Eddie Nketiah. Nketiah was in fine form for the England Under-21s with four goals during the international break where Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson also featured.
Arteta has, however, had more time to work with Lacazette in the lead-up to the curtain-raiser, considering the Frenchman was not picked by Didier Deschamps for the Nations League matches.
How Arsenal could line up against Fulham
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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