Arsenal return to Premier League action on Sunday night after enduring a brief scare away at Rapid Vienna in midweek.
The Gunners would eventually prevail 2-1 in their opening group stage clash of the Europa League campaign after Bernd Leno had gifted the hosts the lead in the second period.
Nevertheless, a tricky domestic clash now awaits Mikel Arteta in the form of Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes, with Arsenal looking to bounce back from their drab 1-0 defeat at Manchester City last weekend.
Thus, here’s the lineup Arteta should opt for to help his side return to winning ways in the Premier League.
Bernd Leno (GK) – Thursday night’s error was bad…but not that bad that we’ll see Runar Alex Runarsson make his debut on Sunday. The German shot-stopper’s a shoo-in.
Hector Bellerin (RB) – The Spaniard may don the Arsenal strip like he’s at Milan fashion week but he’s nonetheless established himself as Arteta’s number one option at right-back. Bellerin impressed in Austria on Thursday, assisting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the winner, and should retain his place on Sunday.
David Luiz (CB) – The Brazilian’s horror-show at Manchester City back in June has really clouded over his rather impressive form since Arteta’s arrival. He’s started Arsenal’s last three in the Premier League and the Gunners’ injury crisis at centre-back means he’s a sure bet to make it four on the spin on Sunday.
Gabriel Magalhaes (CB) – The former Lille defender has enjoyed a fine start to his Arsenal career, with the early signs suggesting the Gunners have finally stumbled upon their ‘dominant’ centre-half. The imposing Brazilian will be looking to slow down a returning Jamie Vardy at the Emirates.
Kieran Tierney (LB) – The Scot’s quickly evolved into a fan favourite in north London following his 2019 move from Celtic, shining ever since his emergence into Arteta’s XI last season. Tierney will continue to be a mainstay in the Spaniard’s side for 2020/21.
Thomas Partey (CM) – Thursday’s victory proved just how brilliant the all-action Ghanaian is. He’s set to make his first Premier League start on Sunday following his deadline day switch from Atletico Madrid.
Granit Xhaka (CM) – Arsenal now boast two supreme deep ball-progressors with Partey joining Xhaka in the middle of the park. The Switzerland international’s renaissance following Arteta’s arrival is well-documented, and he’s now an indispensable member of this Arsenal side.
Bukayo Saka (CM) – The youngster’s role in Arteta’s side is certainly the most complex and it’s a celebration of his impressive versatility. Saka will function on the flank, in the left half-space, between the lines and deeper in midfield in a typical 90 minutes.
Nicolas Pepe (RW) – The Ivorian’s an exhilarating but equally frustrating footballer, one capable of the spectacular but also a culprit of drifting into the wilderness. After earning 90 minutes in the week, Pepe needs a run of games in the starting XI to get the very best out of him. Frequent 20-minute cameos aren’t going to do him much good.
Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – The Frenchman almost functions as a false nine under Arteta, with his task of dropping between the lines an obvious ploy to create space for Aubameyang in behind. Many have called for the Gabonese hitman’s return to a central role but such a switch is unlikely in this one.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (LW) – The one-time Golden Boot victor ended a four-game goal drought with his tap-in in Vienna on Thursday, but he hasn’t scored in the Premier League since matchday one. The 31-year-old has four goals in as many games against Leicester, though, and will be hopeful of getting himself on the scoresheet on Sunday.