For the first time in ages, Arsenal fans look forward to a game without a clue about our system. Mikel Arteta’s first line up as Gunners boss can be anything at this point but it has to be a good one against a tricky Bournemouth side.
Bernd Leno is a guaranteed starter in goal but our back four is anybody’s guess. Callum Chambers’ suspension opens the door for Hector Bellerin at right-back and the injuries to Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney paves way for Ainsley Maitland-Niles on the opposite side.
If recent games are anything to go by, it is unlikely that Sokratis will start on Thursday. David Luiz, thanks to ball-playing style, is expected to get the nod while the biggest surprise could be the inclusion of Shkodran Mustafi next to the Brazilian.
Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira will most likely start in midfield after impressive recent performances. Mesut Ozil should also get the nod thanks to Arteta’s familiarity about the German’s game from his playing days.
The front-three will be a tricky one. Nicolas Pepe is expected to start on the right after missing out on the weekend. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a sure starter but will he play up front or on the left to accommodate Alexandre Lacazette.
Martinelli’s recent performances deserve a lot of praise considering his age. The Brazilian will make a strong case to start again but it is likely that Arteta will prefer experience to youth in his very first game in charge.
The Spaniard has promised aggressive, attacking football which is hugely exciting but it won’t be easy against the Cherries. Bournemouth are struggling despite their recent win against Chelsea and if Arsenal can get their tactics right, we should be taking the three points home.