The football fest over on Amazon Prime wraps up for the week over in north London, as Freddie Ljungberg’s Arsenal take on Brighton at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners are looking to put a dismal run of form in the rear view mirror, as the dust continues to settle after Unai Emery’s abrupt departure from the club a week ago.
The Seagulls boss has already been rewarded with a new Amex Stadium contract after drastically changing the club’s on-field philosophy, though results have been hit and miss.
Both sides will be confident of picking up three points, but the real question is what side will Ljungberg put out for his first home game in charge? Here, 90min takes a peak at what he should do…
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Bernd Leno (GK) – Arsenal would probably have lost against Norwich last weekend if it wasn’t for Leno’s supreme performance in goal. The German is comfortably first choice, and will only ever miss out through injury.
Hector Bellerin (RB) – Calum Chambers has done a reasonable job for Arsenal in the absence of Bellerin, but it’s time for the Spaniard to continue his recovery from injury and step up his first-team involvement.
Shkodran Mustafi (CB) – Arsenal, unfortunately, don’t have the abundance of quality centre-back options they should have, meaning Mustafi or Sokratis are often vying for a place in defence. The German hasn’t been too bad of late, so should be given the nod again.
David Luiz (CB) – Yes, he’s prone to a mistake or two, but Luiz can also be brilliant. His range of passing and composure are huge positives, despite some questionable decision making. Needs to step up for Ljungberg and give the performance of a seasoned veteran.
Kieran Tierney (LB) – Like Bellerin, summer signing Tierney’s season has been curtailed by injury thus far. Will eventually be first choice ahead of Sead Kolasinac, and needs starts to continue building up his fitness.
Granit Xhaka (CM) – Rotation is likely with the games coming thick and fast, so don’t be surprised to see a fresh-legged Xhaka patrolling midfield once more. Won’t be donning the captain’s armband, which is a shame (not).
Lucas Torreira (CM) – Time to step up and shine for Torreira in Arsenal’s midfield, after months of dragging his heels under Emery. Matteo Guendouzi can’t, and shouldn’t, play every week, meaning the Uruguayan needs to step things up and seize his opportunity to shine…..in the holding role.
Mesut Ozil (AM) – Let’s face facts, Arsenal look far better going forward when they have Ozil at the tip of their midfield three. What he lacks in defensive work rate, he more than makes up for in creative genius – and should be relied to be the main supply outlet for a marauding front three.
Nicolas Pepe (RW) – Life in north London has been hard for Pepe to date, so he’s another that should be chomping at the bit to impress on a, so far, rare start. The Ivorian has shown that’s he more than capable in Ligue 1, but needs to prove that he’s capable of adapting to the rigours of the Premier League, pronto.
Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – Surprisingly under-par this season, Lacazette will certainly feel he’s got more to bring to the Arsenal table, particularly in home games. Can be sensational on his day, but also drifts into the wilderness far too often. Should be keen on exploiting Brighton’s lack of pace at the back.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (LW) – Frequently popping up on the right wing against Norwich was, interesting, but hopefully just a one-off for Arsenal fans. Scores goals for fun and should be relishing ending the Gunners’ dismal run of form with a couple more in front of the Emirates faithful.