90min
Arsenal

Arsenal predicted lineup vs Norwich - Premier League

Grey Whitebloom
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is still searching for his first Premier League points of the season ahead of the visit of Norwich
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is still searching for his first Premier League points of the season ahead of the visit of Norwich / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

For the first time since the transistor radio was commercially available, Arsenal head into their fourth game of a top flight season without a point as they host Norwich City on Saturday afternoon.

Fans will be clustered around the wireless come the weekend as Mikel Arteta attempts to kick-start his side's campaign against the champions of last season's second tier - a far more inviting prospect than Arsenal's previous two league outings; the most recent Champions League finalists.

Here's the starting XI Arteta may select from a squad that has joyously greeted returning defensive reinforcements, only to lose a cluster of midfield options.


1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Bernd Leno (GK) - Despite whispers of league start for Aaron Ramsdale, Leno remains one of the senior quintet around which the young squad can be built.

Cedric Soares (RB) - With Hector Bellerin stylishly decked in green and white for the upcoming campaign, and Calum Chambers hardly impressing so far this term, Cedric may return to his natural position.

Ben White (CB) - A battling evening against Brentford made for an inauspicious start to an Arsenal career that swiftly worsened for the £50m man after contracting COVID-19. Now back in training, White can make a belated home debut.

Gabriel Magalhaes (CB) - Having been spared the ignominy of appearing for Arsenal this season, the young Brazilian can try to replicate his good start to last season against a side that has scored two goals in its last 13 top flight matches.

Kieran Tierney (LB) - As one of the few highly-regarded members of this punchline of an Arsenal defence, the talented Tierney remains an automatic starter even though he has been tainted by his team's woes this term.


2. Midfielders

Albert Sambi Lokonga (CM) - While Granit Xhaka sits at home and a recovering Thomas Partey takes up a likely spot on the bench, Sambi is set to shoulder the defensive and penetrative midfield responsibilities.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (CM) - Barely a week after taking to Instagram to convey his displeasure with the club (three crying-face emojis worth of displeasure) Maitland-Niles may very well be granted a starting berth in his favoured midfield role thanks to a spate of injuries.

Martin Odegaard (AM) - With Emile Smith Rowe under the weather, the weighty creative burden will likely fall upon Odegaard as he makes his first home appearance as a permanent Arsenal player.


3. Forwards

Nicolas Pepe (RW) - As the player himself outlined in a recent interview, Pepe thrives in front of the fans, almost doubling his goal contribution rate with a crowd to impress. He may not have gotten off the mark so far, but in front of a packed Emirates - and against much weaker opposition - that may change this weekend.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) - With a brace in each of his only two career meetings with Norwich, Aubameyang's form in this matchup is in stark contrast to his recent league displays: goalless in five Premier League appearances.

Bukayo Saka (LW) - Fresh from an international break that was made dream-like by a goal-scoring birthday, Arsenal's new 20-year-old can scarcely be afforded any respite given his talent and the team's apparent lack thereof.

facebooktwitterreddit