Indeed, Mikel Arteta’s side are unbeaten in seven consecutive matches on English soil.
However, with squad rotation being necessary in order to give the Gunners the best possible chance of success in both the Premier League and Europa League this season, the Spaniard may well look to give a number of his lesser-seen first-teamers and most exciting youth prospects a run out against the Seagulls this evening.
Here’s how we at Football FanCast think Arteta’s starting XI could look against Brighton, as well as the latest team and injury news…
With Arteta revealing in his pre-match press conference that Takehiro Tomiyasu will remain sidelined for tonight’s fixture after picking up a knock in the 1-0 win over FC Zurich earlier this month, coupled with the Spaniard looking likely to rotate his team, we predict that the 40-year-old will make ten changes to his starting XI from the Chelsea win.
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Only Gabriel Magalhães keeps his starting spot in the back five, with Matt Turner replacing Aaron Ramsdale between the sticks, Kieran Tierney coming in for Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back, Rob Holding taking William Saliba’s spot in the middle and Cédric Soares replacing Ben White at right-back.
There are also wholesale changes in the midfield three, with the 19-year-old “wizard” – in the words of Emanuel Rosu – Catalin Cirjan potentially being handed his first-team debut in place of Granit Xhaka. He has appeared on the bench already this term and is now primed to be given his first senior minutes.
Other central changes see Mohamed Elneny given his second start since injury in place of Thomas Partey and Fábio Vieira come in for Martin Ødegaard.
Once again, there are three fresh faces in the attacking trio, with Arteta unleashing Arsenal’s “secret weapon” – in the words of Graham Ruthven – Reiss Nelson alongside Eddie Nketiah and 19-year-old Marquinhos on the left flank, up top and right flank respectively.