Arsenal: The remaining Premier League fixtures
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta could be faced with a few selection dilemmas following the international break. A couple of players have been hit with injury scares while with their country in the last two weeks. Express Sport looks at how the Gunners could line up ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match at home to Liverpool, with the Europa League quarter-final against Slavia Prague on the horizon.
Goalkeeper – Leno
Bernd Leno will keep his place in goal despite a poor few weeks for the German.
He was guilty of a poor error which led to West Ham’s second goal in the 3-3 draw last time out.
Leno’s playing out from the back has also put Arsenal into trouble on more than one occasion of late.
However, it is unlikely that loanee Mat Ryan will be called upon unless an injury occurs.
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Defence – Cedric, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney
David Luiz and Gabriel have remained with the Arsenal squad for the past two weeks and will be well-rested.
The Brazilian duo have been Arteta’s preferred combination in recent weeks.
Cedric’s impressive form led to a recall to the Portugal side, so he should keep his place.
Kieran Tierney has played every minute of Scotland’s matches so far so Arteta will be hoping he comes through Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands unscathed.
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Midfield – Partey, Xhaka; Odegaard
Arsenal fans feared the worst when Martin Odegaard suffered an ankle injury against Gibraltar last week.
However, the Norwegian has since played 90 minutes against Turkey and 81 against Montenegro, so looks to have shaken off the problem.
Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka have become the go-to pairing for Arteta in midfield, so it should stay that way after the break.
Partey helped Ghana qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations last week and Xhaka has played two full matches for Switzerland ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Finland.
Attack – Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Emile Smith Rowe missed England under-21s match against Croatia on Wednesday after he picked up an injury in the 2-0 loss to Portugal.
Meanwhile, Bukayo Saka did not link up with the senior England squad after failing to fully recover from the hamstring injury he suffered earlier this month.
Arteta may choose to protect both players this weekend, thus giving Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a starting spot on the flanks.
Alexandre Lacazette should be fresh and will aim to build on his impressive performance against West Ham.
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