Luiz and Gabriel to Start in Strong Arsenal Predicted Lineup vs West Ham

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Emile Smith Rowe (shoulder), Sokratis (calf), Pablo Mari (ankle), Gabriel Martinelli (knee), Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring) and Calum Chambers (knee) remain out ahead of the visit of West Ham United but David Luiz (neck) is back in training and was declared fit by his manager in Friday’s press conference.

Luiz has been a regular starter ever since Mikel Arteta was appointed in December and could slot straight back into the defence, although the Gunners’ impressive display without the Brazilian in the 3-0 win over Fulham gives the Arsenal boss a welcome headache.

If Arteta again employs a back three, as he has done in pre-season and in Gameweek 1, then Rob Holding’s ability to play on the right-hand side of central defence could see him retain his place even if Luiz is recalled.

Instead, we could either see Luiz replace Gabriel or Kieran Tierney move from the back three and into a wing-back role to accommodate him – although that would be harsh on Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Another possible selection dilemma is in central midfield, where Mohamed Elneny made a rare start at Craven Cottage.

The Egyptian barely put a foot wrong but is likely to be a mere placeholder until Dani Ceballos is back up to speed and that switch seems likely to happen sooner rather than later, even if not this weekend.

The opening-day displays of Willian and Alexandre Lacazette alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could mean that Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe and Eddie Nketiah are again consigned to bench duty, with Mesut Ozil likely to be left out in the cold again.


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