Arsenal expected XI vs Everton as Mikel Arteta faces key decision in defence

Arsenal are facing a crunch Premier League clash against Everton as they look to get back to winning ways.

Mikel Arteta’s side has not won a game in the league since their trip to face Manchester United at the start of November.

And they are taking on a side which is starting to rediscover their unbeaten form from the start of the season, with Carlo Ancelotti’s side only losing one of their last five games.

While the Arsenal boss may not have an injury crisis to deal with, he will have some big decisions to make in the approach at Goodison Park.

The last game saw the north London side switch to a 3-4-3, the same set-up that secured their victory at Old Trafford in November.

It limited Southampton to three shots on target from their 13 attempts, compensating for the lack of defensive action from Arsenal’s attacking players.

And this same policy will have to be used against Everton, who boast talents such as Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin attacking their goal.

But they have a problem with players out due to discipline as Gabriel joined Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerin after his red card against the Saints.

This could see Pablo Mari make his first Premier League appearances since the 3-0 loss to Manchester City in June.

Having enjoyed two impressive Europa League games this season, he could step into a back three with Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney who are supported by Bernd Leno in goal.

Mohamed Elneny and Dani Ceballos would keep their places in the middle of the park, sitting in front the defence to block off James Rodriguez’s creativity.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who earned a place after his Europa League game against Dundalk, would run the right wing while Bukayo Saka stays on the left.

Nicolas Pepe was given a chance by Arteta – and showed he could threaten goal with some fierce shots against the Saints.

Eddie Nketiah combined with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the north London side’s goal, putting them both on five for the season.

With the pair working well, it could keep Willian and Alexandre Lacazette out for another game.

While there could be a cameo appearance from Gabriel Martinelli, who played 45 minutes in an EFL Trophy game against Wimbledon earlier this month.

But Arsenal’s players have not given club legend Ray Parlour confidence, admitting he is scared they will get relegated.

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