Arsenal will host Everton on Friday, as Mikel Arteta‘s men hope to remain in contention for a place in the Europa League next season.
Arsenal managed to salvage a point against Fulham last weekend after Eddie Nketiah scored the equalizer in the 97th minute. A 1-1 draw against a relegation-threatened Fulham was not the best result, but the Gunners managed to get at least something out of the game.
The north London side currently sit on the ninth spot in the league table, having played 32 matches so far. The Gunners will host the eighth-placed, Everton in a Premier League fixture on Friday, and will hope to claim all three points. However, Mikel Arteta’s side have been hit by several injuries which have depleted the squad severely.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still recovering from Malaria and is unavailable for the clash against the Toffees. Alexandre Lacazette picked up a hamstring injury, which will also rule him out for Friday’s game. David Luiz and Kieran Tierney are on the sidelines due to a knee injury, whereas, Martin Odegaard is also nursing an ankle injury.
Mathew Ryan was handed a start against Fulham last weekend but is expected to be on the bench on Friday. Bernd Leno will start between the sticks for the hosts and will hope to register a clean sheet. Rob Holding will continue to start at the centre-back position, whereas, Pablo Marí will replace Gabriel in the starting lineup.
Calum Chambers is expected to operate as the right-back, after he was named on the bench against Fulham. Cédric Soares will complete the hosts’ defence and will operate as the left-back. The Portugual international, who is predominantly a right-back, has been utilized by Mikel Arteta on the left side of the defence, due to the absence of Kieran Tierney.
Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey will start as the two holding midfielders and will hope to provide stability to the defence. Xhaka operated as the left-back against Fulham and will occupy a deeper role on Friday, giving an opportunity to Partey to drive forward. Emile Smith Rowe will start as the attacking midfielder. The 20-year old has four league assists to his name this season but is yet to register his name on the scoresheet.
Nicolas Pepe will start as the left-winger against the Toffees, with Bukayo Saka operating from the right-wing. The latter is one of the brightest talents in the Premier League, having scored seven goals in all competitions this season. The 19-year old’s last goal came against Slavia Prague in the second leg of the Europa League quarter-finals.
Eddie Nketiah scored the equalizer against Fulham last week and will be rewarded with a start against Everton. Arsenal are missing their two key strikers due to injury and illness, which gives the 21-year old, another opportunity to prove himself.