Arsenal predicted lineup vs West Brom as Arteta mixes up the Gunners’ attack
Mikel Arteta is expected to reward Alexandre Lacazette for his winning goal against Brighton by welcoming him back into Arsenal’s starting XI on Saturday.
The Gunners have racked up back-to-back wins following a dismal run to provide a little renewed optimism coming into the new year.
Lacazette was on the scoresheet from the penalty spot in the 3-1 win over Chelsea on Boxing Day, before coming off the bench to help his side snatch all three points from Brighton.
Gabriel Martinelli had been preferred on the left of Arsenal’s front three at the Amex Stadium, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leading the line on his return from injury.
But Lacazette is likely to join forces with his captain for the trip to the Hawthorns, with Bukayo Saka retaining his place on the right flank.
That could mean Aubameyang is pushed out into a wide role again, with Lacazette operating through the middle.
In behind him, Arteta will keep faith with youngster Emile Smith-Rowe following his impressive spell back in the first team.
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Thomas Partey is no closer to being available having yet to shake off his thigh injury, meaning Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny are likely to partner again in the middle of the park.
At the back, Gabriel also remains sidelined, with Pablo Mari and Rob Holding set to continue as the Gunners’ central defensive pairing.
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Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin will fulfil their usual roles as respective full-backs in a four-man defence, in front of goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Willian could also be involved after returning to training this week following injury, though is only likely to fill a spot on Arsenal’s bench.
Arsenal predicted XI vs West Brom: Leno; Bellerin, Mari, Holding, Tierney; Xhaka, Elneny, Smith-Rowe; Saka, Aubameyang, Lacazette.