Arsenal will again line up without William Saliba, as Mikel Arteta will likely name an unchanged side against West Ham United.
Arsenal will visit the London Stadium to take on West Ham United knowing Manchester City have closed the gap to three points. Pep Guardiola’s side will have a game in hand over the Gunners after Sunday. But Mikel Arteta will hope to restore the six-point advantage.
Right from the off, the pre-match press conference focused on William Saliba’s injury. And Arteta insisted the defender would not feature. He did confirm the availability of Eddie Nketiah, who has stayed out for several weeks with an ankle injury.
On Saliba, Arteta said, “William [Saliba] is still not available. He’s progressing well and we are hopeful we’ll have him available in the next few weeks, but we’ll have to see. Eddie is back and is fully fit now.”
When asked about Saliba’s progress with recovery and whether he has been coming on to the grass, Arteta continued, “He’s not far from starting to do that. Obviously we need to be cautious because of the injury, but he’s evolving well.”
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Arteta also insisted the Frenchman would play again at some stage was positive enough for Arsenal fans. Regarding injuries, the Gunners do not have anybody else out, barring Takehiro Tomiyasu and Mohamed Elneny, who remain long-term absentees.
As for the lineup, Arteta will likely name an unchanged one from the trip to Anfield. After his heroics against Liverpool, Aaron Ramsdale will keep his place in goal. Ben White will start at right back, with Rob Holding deputising for Saliba in central defence. Gabriel Magalhaes and Oleksandr Zinchenko will complete the left side of the backline.
Thomas Partey will sit at the base of midfield, with Martin Odegaard and Granit Xhaka playing on either side of the Ghanaian. Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli will complete the front three for Arsenal. The options on the bench seem strong in the attack and midfield for Arteta.
Leandro Trossard will again join Fabio Vieira, Emile Smith Rowe and Jorginho on the bench for this game. The trio, alongside Nketiah and Kieran Tierney, will hope to come on at some stage of the game and make an impact.
Predicted Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; Ben White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli
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