Partey and Elneny to start: Predicted 4-3-3 Arsenal Lineup vs Aston Villa

Arsenal will be aiming to go into the international break with a win behind them as they gear up to take on Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday night in the English Premier League.

And ahead of their latest match, manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed his side have no fresh injury issues following their midweek win against Molde in the Uefa Europa League.

‘We didn’t have any major problems so I am expecting the ones who are fit at the moment to continue to be available at the weekend,’ the Spaniard coach revealed in his press conference.

In total, Mikel Arteta will be unable to call upon four first-team players when encounter with Aston Villa with Reiss Nelson, Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers and Gabriel Martinelli ruled out due to their respective injury issues.

Considering that the manager made a host of changes for the Uefa Europa League clash earlier in the week, we can expect Mikel Arteta to go heavy on alterations again this weekend.

No change is expected in goal though, with first-choice custodian Bernd Leno retaining his spot between the sticks. Gabriel Magalhaes is a certainty in Arsenal’s three-man back-line after making a solid impression start to life in London.

The Brazilian should have Kieran Tierney for company once again on his left, while the third slot is up for grabs with the likes of Rob Holding, David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi battling for the place.

David Luiz may be back to full fitness, but Holding’s performance against Manchester United should warrant a starting berth against Villa this weekend. Hector Bellerin and Bukayo Saka ought to come in as the two wing-backs on the right and left sides respectively, after dropping out for the Europa League clash.

The midfield is where it gets a bit tricky for Mikel Arteta in terms of selection. Thomas Partey is a shoo-in after his brilliant start to life as an Arsenal player.

However, Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka as well as Joe Willock have made strong cases for a starting berth alongside the Ghanaian.

Willock, in particular, has been highly impressive in his Europa League appearances, with Mikel Arteta hailing the youngster’s performances.

‘Look at Joe twelve months ago and look at Joe now, the player he is, how he is maturing and how much he has improved. He is on the right path and if he continues like that and continues to be consistent, he will have his chances,’ Mikel Arteta said.

However, on Sunday, it is very much likely that the Gunners boss goes in with Elneny alongside Partey with the hope that the duo can stifle the creative threat of Ross Barkley and Jack Grealish, much like they did against Manchester United last week.

Moving into the attacking third, skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a certain starter on the left while Alexandre Lacazette, in all likelihood, should replace Eddie Nketiah as the centre-forward. On the right flank though, there could be a change, with Willian likely to make way for Nicolas Pepe, who was on target in midweek.

Arsenal Predicted XI: Leno; Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Bellerin, Elneny, Partey, Saka; Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette.

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