Arsenal line-up that should start against Brighton

After a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Manchester City, Arsenal travel to Brighton on Saturday to look to climb back into the top seven with victory at the Amex Stadium.

Wednesday night’s loss leaves them ninth, five points behind Manchester United, who are currently fifth and in what could be the final Champions League spot (Man City’s appeal against their European ban pending). Yet they have failed to beat the Seagulls in their last four league outings, and will need to improve on previous displays to do so this time around.

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Injuries to both Pablo Mari and Granit Xhaka on Wednesday will severely affect their squad depth, with Lucas Torreira, Callum Chambers and Sokratis also sidelined for the match. David Luiz’s red card means he will also be suspended for Saturday’s trip.

Here’s how the Gunners should line up for Saturday’s match.

Rob Holding will look to secure a regular first-team place going forward / James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Bernd Leno (GK) – He couldn’t be faulted for the horrendous defensive errors he faced in midweek. Leno is the quietest figure in Arsenal’s backline and can be relied on to do his best to keep Brighton’s forwards at bay on Saturday.

Hector Bellerin (RB) – Will likely retain his place, given his position as the club’s first choice. A run of back-to-back games would do him some good, provided he’s now fully recovered from his ACL injury.

Shkodran Mustafa (CB) – Now takes on the role as Arsenal’s most senior defender on the pitch, with Luiz sent off. The backs will need to put in a big performance to inspire confidence, and likely stay in the team after the defensive injuries pile up.

Rob Holding (CB) – He has played just 86 minutes of Premier League action this season, but will get a chance at the Amex, with Luiz, Sokratis and Mari all absent. A big chance for him to stake a claim in the first team for the remaining nine games of the season.

Kieran Tierney (LB) – After finally getting over his injury issues, Tierney should be ready to play the remainder of the season. He will be expected to provide attacking width to help his teammates create with his lethal left-footed cross.

The returning Pepi will enjoy a favorable match against Dan Byrne on Saturday/Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Dani Ceballos (DM) – Surprisely left out of the starting XI that played on Wednesday, the Spaniard is sure to return to the line-up after suffering a hamstring injury. His distribution of the ball will be key to unlocking the Brighton defence, and will benefit from having Ginduzzi alongside him to do the defensive dirty work.

Matteo Guendouzi (DM) – Once thought to be out of favor under Arteta, the 21-year-old will play a key role in protecting his comeback back four. Will allow Ceballos to flourish by doing the defensive work required to win the ball to launch counter-attacks.

Nicolas Pepe (RW) – Should be picked to start on Saturday, for his pace and ability to create something against the Brighton side. Pepy will relish the match against Den Bern, and will look to use his pace and dribbling ability at every opportunity.

Mesut Ozil (AM) – If Arteta leaves him out for tactical reasons against City, the German should be expected to return to the starting XI, as his creativity will be key to picking apart the Seagulls. A key role could earn Ozil a first-team place for the rest of the season – and make it difficult for him to drop again.

Bukayo Saka (LW) – Tierney’s return has given the youngster a chance to further develop and showcase his attacking abilities without having to drop back too often. Saka’s runs could be key in helping to pick apart Graham Potter’s defence, and increased game time with Tierney could lead to a stronger left-back partnership.

Aubameyang will be relied upon to score against Brighton / Julian Finney / Getty Images

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) – While Eddy Nketiah made a shift on Wednesday, Arteta could rest him on Saturday, and therefore hand Aubameyang the keys to lead the front line. His pace will cause the pairing of Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster plenty of trouble, and his eye for goal will ensure the Gunners can muster more than just three shots against the Citizens (any target is not on).

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