ARSENAL will look to end 2022 on a high with a win over Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton on New Year’s Eve.
The Gunners retained their five-point advantage at the top of the Premier League table on Monday following a 3-1 win over West Ham.
Arsenal’s potential line-up to face Brighton
Nketiah is expected to start againCredit: Getty
Zinchenko made a cameo against West HamCredit: Getty
Mikel Arteta‘s side completely dominated the game despite conceding a penalty in the first half.
So it would be no surprise to see the Arsenal boss field a similar starting line-up ahead of Saturday’s match.
Eddie Nketiah made his first Premier League start of the season on Monday when he stepped in for the injured Gabriel Jesus, who is expected to be out of action until March.
However, after the game the 22-year-old insisted that he has never intended to replicate his teammate’s style of play.
He said: ” I’m not trying to replace him and I’m not trying to be him. I can’t do what he does and he can’t do what I do.
“We’re different players but at the end of the day we both want to help the team. Whether it’s me or him, we both support each other.”
Nketiah joined teammates Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka on the scoresheet with a composed finish during the second half of the boxing day fixture.
Both Martinelli and Saka have regularly featured for the Gunners so far this season.
So they are expected to retain their respective places on the wings for the clash with Brighton.
Star man Martin Odegaard is also expected to start in midfield, with Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey behind.
Arteta’s favoured centre-back partnership of William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes will keep their spots in defence, with Ben White likely to remain as first-choice right-back.
But, Kieran Tierney could be replaced by summer signing Oleksandr Zinchenko, who returned to the squad to make a cameo against West Ham.
Zinchenko’s Arsenal career got off to a flying start in August, but his season has so far been marred by numerous injury issues.
As a result, Tierney earned a regular spot in Arteta’s starting line-up and has since been a formidable force in defence.
Although Zinchenko has returned to full fitness, his lack of game time could see Arteta opt for Tierney in defence.
The Arsenal boss could also reintroduce Emile Smith-Rowe to the line-up.
Arsenal’s alternative line-up to face Brighton
The Hale End Academy graduate has been out of action for the past three months with a groin injury.
To facilitate his return, Martinelli could shift into the striker position.