Mikel Arteta has made three changes to the Arsenal side that started the 2-1 defeat to Wolves ahead of today’s mammoth derby encounter against heated rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Rob Holding partners Gabriel in central defence, which is unsurprising as the ace came on at halftime in last weekend’s defeat to replace David Luiz following the nasty clash of heads with Raul Jimenez.
The biggest change is undoubtedly the return of summer signing Thomas Partey, with the marquee man missing four games through an injury that forced him off in the defeat to Aston Villa.
The final change is also a high-profile one as Alexandre Lacazette replaces Joe Willock, with Arteta discussing the Frenchman’s ‘confidence’ booster after a fine goal against Rapid Wien on Thursday.
With Arsenal’s post stating that Holding will ‘partner’ Gabriel, this could be a hint that the side will actually be deploying a non three centre-back system.
Take a look at how the Gunners will line up for the all-important clash below:
? Our north London derby team news is in!
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 6, 2020
Here’s how some of the Arsenal faithful have reacted to Arteta’s teamsheet:
Enough with the Willian experiment.
— Morgan Bunker (@chasquimorgan) December 6, 2020
Time to Partey.
— ? Kris ?? ?? (@Santi_Classorla) December 6, 2020
Partey is excellent news!!
But Xhaka & Bellerin starting is poor decision
— Max Power (@MaxPower_Afc) December 6, 2020
Xhaka in midfield over Elneny, Ceballos, Willock and Maitland-Niles?
God have mercy on our souls
— muazzam_95 (@muazzambrey_95) December 6, 2020
We need Partey in that midfield today. No idea how Willian starts over Nelson though.
— Daniel Cheng (@danielchengg1) December 6, 2020
Rob holding and bellerin in the right side is very suspect. Apart from that good team. COYG!
— SwarnyGooner ?? (@GoonerSwarny) December 6, 2020
Xhaka playing, sigh
— Parv Gagarani #ShastriOut (@PGagX) December 6, 2020
— Pépé is a ??? (@NotYourWinger) December 6, 2020
Arteta will also be itching to get back on level terms with Jose Mourinho, as the Spaniard succumbed to the ‘special one’ when they first met as opposing managers during last season’s restart.
The pressure is certainly on Partey to show that he’s the man to make this Arsenal side tick after a disastrous run of form, fans will be hoping that the Ghanaian can inspire more creativity.