Sambi and White to start: How Arsenal could line up vs Tottenham
Arsenal have one final game before the Premier League season gets underway, let’s take a look at our predicted lineup to face Spurs.
Mikel Arteta has one last chance to work with his players in a matchday environment ahead of the Premier League opener against Brentford next Friday, and it’s a trip to Spurs.
After the Chelsea game, these ‘friendlies’ are starting to become a little worrying.
Arsenal have already lost Thomas Partey to injury, and who knows which Spurs nobody will decide to make a name for themselves by two-footing an opponent’s ankle with no consequences?
The upside is that Arsenal are certainly getting good preparation for the intensity of the actual season, they just can’t afford any further injuries.
Arteta is likely to pick a strong side for his final pre-season fixture. Here’s our predicted Arsenal lineup to face Spurs.
Bernd Leno will keep his place in goal. It was interesting to note that though Runar Alex Runarsson was with the squad against Chelsea and named in Arsenal’s pre-match graphic, he wasn’t on the teamsheet. Arthur Okonkwo was instead.
That suggests Okonkwo is ahead in the hierarchy whilst Arsenal try to find a loan and replacement for Runarsson. But Leno is clearly ahead of Okonkwo, which makes it pretty easy to call this position, despite the German’s shakiness on Sunday.
Kieran Tierney, Pablo Mari, and Calum Chambers all seem like nailed-on starters for this match, as they’re all likely to be in the starting lineup against Brentford. The only question is whether the fourth position is filled by Rob Holding or Ben White.
Ideally, since White is likely to be a starter for Arsenal this season, it would be good to get him at least one pre-season start before the campaign gets underway.
Thomas Partey is unlikely to be available after his injury, which leaves Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny, and Albert Sambi Lokonga as realistic options for the deeper midfield pairing.
After gifting the ball to the opposition in a dangerous position twice in consecutive friendlies against Premier League opposition, Elneny’s spot should be severely at risk. Sambi was also impressive in the latter stages against Chelsea and deserves a shot.
Ahead of them, Emile Smith Rowe remains the only realistic option, with Willian likely acting as cover in his position from the bench.
The front three is likely to remain unchanged, with Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli still likely not ready.
Arguably, Eddie Nketiah is earning his spot in the team, but it’s hard to see Arteta dropping Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against Spurs.
It’s not clear whether or not Folarin Balogun will be available, after he missed the last week or so of training.
Nicolas Pepe’s spot isn’t up for debate, as he’s performing very well at the moment. Although Saka is meant to be returning to training in the coming days, this match will probably come too soon for him.
Predicted lineup to face Spurs