Arsenal: The remaining Premier League fixtures
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Arsenal will be hoping for their first win from three matches in all competitions on Saturday evening when Liverpool travel to the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners can go within a point of their struggling Merseyside counterparts with victory to keep their faint hopes of Europa League qualification alive. Express Sport takes a look at the Arsenal side that could take on the Reds in their first Premier League outing since the international break.
Goalkeeper – Leno
Bernd Leno will assume his usual position between the sticks for the Gunners on Saturday evening.
The German stopper conceded a trio of goals against West Ham United in the thrilling 3-3 draw two weeks ago, but is highly likely to be given the nod over the likes of Mat Ryan and Alex Runarsson.
He could not stop Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane and Andrew Robertson from finding the net as Liverpool romped to a comfortable victory in the reverse fixture, and will be hoping for a better showing this time around.
Leno has featured in all but one of Arsenal’s Premier League matches this season, with the 29-year-old missing February’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa after being sent off against Wolves four days earlier.
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Defence – Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney
Calum Chambers performed excellently against the Hammers last time out but could end up losing his place to Hector Bellerin for the visit of Liverpool.
The former Southampton man has only played 180 minutes of Premier League football this season and is unlikely to be trusted by Mikel Arteta for such a crucial encounter.
Meanwhile, Rob Holding should come into the side in place of David Luiz, who will miss Saturday’s match with a knee injury.
There is a chance that Pablo Mari could start after impressing when called upon as of late, but Holding has featured heavily throughout the season and appears to be the safest option.
Midfield – Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard
Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka should be selected to sit in front of the back four, with Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard in the No 10 role.
The Norway international has dazzled since joining the Gunners in January and played a starring role in his side’s recent six-goal thriller at the London Stadium.
It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will launch an attempt to sign him on a permanent basis at the end of the season.
Fellow playmaker Emile Smith Rowe is a doubt after suffering a hip problem while on international duty with England’s under-21 side, and is likely to take up a spot on the bench if passed fit.
Attack – Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette
Bukayo Saka is another casualty of England’s group stage exit at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship earlier this week, and has been training on his own at London Colney after picking up a hamstring issue.
His absence should see Nicolas Pepe, who enjoyed a strong performance off the bench against West Ham, handed a starting berth.
Alexandre Lacazette is expected to lead the attacking charge for the Gunners once again with skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a supporting role on the left flank.
The Gabon international has only scored nine Premier League goals this season but will fancy his chances against Liverpool’s injury-plagued back four.
Expected Arsenal XI vs Liverpool – Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Pepe, Odegaard, Aubameyang; Lacazette.
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