Arsenal: Club urged to back Arteta amid struggles
Arsenal will be looking for a return to winning ways against Everton on Saturday evening. The Gunners have not claimed a league victory since the narrow win over old rivals Manchester United at the beginning of November, leaving boss Mikel Arteta under huge pressure to deliver a positive result against the Toffees. Express Sport have picked the XI we expect Arsenal to line up with at Goodison Park.
Goalkeeper – Leno
Bernd Leno will line up between the sticks as per usual in search of his fourth clean sheet of the campaign,
The German stopper has played every Premier League game for the Gunners so far this season.
He may struggle to keep out Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who is the league’s top scorer, especially without Gabriel playing in front of him.
Second-choice stopper Alex Runar Runarsson is expected to take up his regular spot on the bench.
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Defence – Bellerin, Luiz, Holding, Kolasinac
Two changes are expected at the back for Arsenal, with David Luiz replacing the suspended Gabriel while Sead Kolasinac could come in at left-back following Kieran Tierney’s poor showing against Southampton.
Hector Bellerin keeps his place at right-back and Rob Holding should start alongside Luiz at the heart of the defence.
Arteta has faced calls to switch to a back three in recent weeks but is likely to remain loyal to the system he feels comfortable with.
Despite their poor form the Gunners have not conceded too many goals this season, with Liverpool and United both shipping more.
Midfield – Elneny, Ceballos, Willock
Mohamed Elneny is likely to feature in central midfield alongside Dani Ceballos, with Joe Willock playing in a more advanced role.
Willock’s introduction to the starting side should provide some attacking threat to an Arsenal side that has severely lacked a creative element this season.
The midfield battle is always capable of deciding the outcome of a match, and the trio will need to be strong both in and out of possession in order to carry the Gunners to three points.
Granit Xhaka misses out once again due to suspension, while Thomas Partey remains unavailable as he recovers from a thigh injury.
Attack – Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Arteta’s loyalty to Willian is unlikely to change on Saturday, with the Brazilian winger expected to start on the right-hand side.
Alexandre Lacazette could replace Eddie Nketiah in the central striker role, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be looking to score in consecutive matches for the first time this season from the left flank.
Reiss Nelson may be available after he was ruled out of the Southampton draw, but is unlikely to start.
However, Arteta does have a number of options at his disposal, with Nicolas Pepe, Emile Smith-Rowe and Folarin Balogun all available for selection.
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