Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been handed a boost ahead of the Gunners’ Premier League clash against Leicester with Emile Smith Rowe recovering from COVID-19. The midfielder missed the 3-2 victory over Watford last weekend after testing positive for the virus.
However, it will also give Arteta a major selection headache. Gabriel Martinelli would be the likeliest to drop out of the team but was exceptional against Watford.
Smith Rowe might then need to settle for a place on the bench as he works his way back into the team.
The 21-year-old had started just two of the previous eight matches for which he was available.
Here is how Express Sport believes Arsenal will line up against Leicester.
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Goalkeeper: Aaron Ramsdale
The big-money summer acquisition of Ramsdale from Sheffield United was ridiculed by rival fans.
However, the shot-stopper has been one of the signings of the season having been a key reason for Arsenal’s rise up the Premier League table.
Ramsdale’s performances have already seen him displace Bernd Leno as Arteta’s No. 1.
The 23-year-old is now a guaranteed starter.
Midfielders: Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, Martin Odegaard
Arteta seems to have finally settled upon a regular midfield.
The solidity provided by Partey and Xhaka has allowed the impressive Odegaard to roam forward and link up with the front three.
The Norwegian played an important role in all three goals against the Hornets.
Arteta will hope for a similar impact against Leicester.
Attackers: Bukayo Saka, Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Martinelli
The Arsenal boss’ biggest decision comes in attack.
Smith Rowe is now available after missing the last two games with Covid.
Arteta could start the England midfielder but might opt to continue with Martinelli, who has enjoyed an excellent run of form.
The Brazilian curled home the third goal at Vicarage Road last weekend and seems to enjoy a good relationship with Saka and Lacazette.