Arsenal desperately need to get back to winning ways when they take on Southampton at St Mary’s this afternoon.
Mikel Arteta has been dealt a major blow ahead of the game with the news that Thomas Partey is facing a race against time to play again this season after suffering a thigh injury earlier this month.
In Partey’s absence, Albert Sambi Lokonga gets another chance to impress in midfield today. The youngster is joined by Granit Xhaka – who moved into midfield after starting at left-back during the defeat to Brighton last weekend.
Martin Odegaard also starts for Arsenal and the Norwegian captains the side in the absence of Alexandre Lacazette. The Frenchman fails to make the starting eleven today after not training last week so Eddie Nketiah is recalled to make a rare Premier League start up front.
Aaron Ramsdale keeps goal once again for the north Londoners while Gabriel marshals the defence alongside Ben White. Cedric Soares continues at right-back with Takehiro Tomiyasu still out while Nuno Tavares is recalled at left-back with Kieran Tierney still out.
Bukayo Saka will be looking to get back to his best form after a disappointing performance against Brighton last weekend. The England international keeps his place on the right side of attack this afternoon.
Gabriel Martinelli starts on the left side of Arsenal’s attack so Emile Smith Rowe has to make do with a place among the substitutes. Nicolas Pepe is also on the bench along with several youngsters.
As for Southampton, Armando Broja returns after missing the defeat to Chelsea last weekend.
Here are the confirmed line-ups:
Forster, Valery, Bednarek, Lyanco, Walker-Peters, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Perraud, S.Armstrong, Elyounoussi, Broja.
Subs: Caballero, Stephens, Livramento, Salisu, Redmond, Tella, A.Armstrong, Adams, Long.
Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tavares; Lokonga, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Nketiah
Subs: Leno, Smith Rowe, Holding, Pepe, Elneny, Azeez, Ogungbo, Swanson, Hutchinson.