Mikel Arteta has made just one change to Arsenal side that upset the odds and beat London rivals Chelsea 3-1 on Boxing Day ahead of tonight’s Premier League tie against Brighton.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returns from injury in the place of Alexandre Lacazette – who scored a penalty against the Blues and turned in a solid performance.
There’s actually much more at stake tonight, owing to the heated encounter between the two sides last time out, which saw Brighton victorious in only the Gunners’ second game of the restart.
The last meeting changed the course of a couple of Arsenal players’ careers at the club, it started out with a follow-through from Neal Maupay that left Bernd Leno seriously injured – and fuming.
Then at the end of the top-flight clash, Matteo Guendouzi viciously grabbed the neck of compatriot Maupay – with these actions sparking the chain of events that have seen him loaned to Hertha Berlin.
Leno’s injury of course led to then long-serving Gunner Emiliano Martinez finally having the chance to showcase his ability in the Premier League, with his solid displays seeing him sold to Aston Villa.
See More: Video: Hilarious moment Granit Xhaka is shoved by Chelsea star for listening in to free-kick tactics
Take a look at the Gunners’ lineup below:
? One change from Boxing Day
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 29, 2020
Here’s how some of the Arsenal faithful have reacted to Arteta’s teamsheet:
Time to get revenge for Leno.
Also, I’m quite annoyed and saddened that Mustafi and Nketiah keep getting selected into match day squads ahead of Saliba and Balogun who are both more gifted players.
— CHRIS #KroenkeOUT! #EduOUT! (@cgilberto19) December 29, 2020
Time for revenge.
— Evan Cooper (@Lacazest) December 29, 2020
So basically just playing the same team with a less balanced attack? Kmt.
— Max. (@AFCMax9) December 29, 2020
But why? I love Auba – but Laca played a great game
— Danish Goooooner (@DanishGoonerCPH) December 29, 2020
Laca was essential to our success last game, hope Auba drops in like Laca was to create space for Martinelli and Saka
— Adam Nijhawan (@ANijhawan17) December 29, 2020
No complaints at all. Come on the boys??
— Gally ™ (@AFCGally) December 29, 2020
What an attack ?
— James. (@afcjxmes) December 29, 2020
Interestingly, Graham Potter has left Maupay on the bench for today’s clash, perhaps this a decision taken with rotation over the festive period in mind and possibly taking the striker out of the limelight.
The pressure is on the Gunners tonight, after a massive win against Chelsea, they now face the side that sit directly below them in Brighton – albeit they are four points behind.
A tie like this is simply a must-win for the north London if they wish to seriously challenge for a Europa League spot this season – their dire run has left Champions League hopes extremely unlikely.