Date: 10th September 2021 at 6:16pm
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The opening month of Arsenal’s Premier League season has gone far from to plan for Mikel Arteta, with the Spaniard’s side yet to gain a point, or even score a goal, after three matches.

Defeats to Brentford and Chelsea, as well as a crushing 5-0 loss to reigning champions Manchester City, have left the Gunners rock bottom of the table and Arteta in a precarious position.

Next up for the North London side is the visit of Norwich City, who themselves are yet to register a point and sit above their opponents solely on goal difference.

Mikel Arteta will have a number of decisions to make when choosing his team for the game, with Granit Xhaka suspended and the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexander Lacazette having struggled last time out.

Below, we predict how Arteta might choose to line up against the newly-promoted Canaries.

Goalkeeper

Bernd Leno has started all three of the club’s league games so far this season, and will expect to keep his place ahead of new signing Aaron Ramsdale. The German ‘keeper has conceded nine goals in his three games so far, however, and Ramsdale may feel aggrieved if he is not given an opportunity soon.

Defence

Englishman Callum Chambers will likely get the nod at right-back ahead of Cedric Soarer and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, having been on the bench for the games against Chelsea and City.

Tierney recovered from an injury against Chelsea to start the City game and looks set to do so against Norwich too

At the heart of defence, £50 million man Ben White will return after missing the last two due to Covid-19.

The Englishman will likely be partnered by Gabriel, who himself also missed out against City but has recovered from a knee problem. Pablo Mari, who endured a tough afternoon against Chelsea a fortnight ago, will have to settle for a place on the bench. New singing Takehiro Tomiyasu looks set for a pace on the bench and may have to wait to make his debut for the club.

At left-back, Kieran Tierney will start and hope to get forward against a fragile Norwich side. The Scot has started all three league games so far and will likely play a crucial role for Arteta this term. Sead Kolasinac and Nuno Tavares will both likely appear on the bench once again.

Midfield

New singing Albert Sambi Lokonga will likely anchor Arsenal’s midfield, alongside Thomas Partey, in the absence of the suspended Granit Xhaka and the injured Mohamed Elneny.

Partey will be hoping to start the game in the absence of Xhaka and Elneny

In the advanced midfield role, Martin Odegaard looks set to to start once again after jining permanently from Real Madrid following a successful loan spell last term. The Norwegian’s first game of his second spell with the club didn’t go to plan, as he was substituted after 70 minutes of the 5-0 thrashing at the hands of City.

Forwards

Arteta may opt to alter his front line with his side having failed to score a single goal so far this term. Frenchman Alexander Lacazette could be handed his first start of the season after missing the first two due to self-isolation and starting on the bench against City.

If the striker is given the centre for role ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, then Nicolas Pepe could start on his right. The Ivorian sat out the defeat to City but played the full 90 minutes in the previous two matches.

On the other side of the striker, Bukayo Saka looks set to start once again as Emile Smith-Rowe continues to recover from an illness. Saka was involved with England during the international break, scoring in a 4-0 victory over Hungary last week.

The young trio of Flo Balogun, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah will all likely have to settle for a place on the bench, with it probable that Arteta will look to introduce at least one of them at some stage.

With his side having performed so far below par this season, a major reshuffle of his starting XI would come as no surprise from Arteta.

The likes of Ramsdale and Tomiyasu will be hopeful of a league debut, while Martinelli, Lacazette and Partey will all be looking for the opportunity to impress.

 
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