Predicted Arsenal team to face Brighton: Lokonga and Tavares to step up as injuries hit

Mikel Arteta, Aston Villa v Arsenal March 2022

Due to a number of injury concerns, the predicted Arsenal team to face Brighton could see Mikel Arteta rely on Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares.

Arsenal had been on a good run of form up until their last game. Indeed, they had won six out of their last seven until they faced Crystal Palace last time out.

That defeat was not helped by injury concerns in the squad. Neither Kieran Tierney or Takehiro Tomiyasu made the trip, and Thomas Partey went down injured in the second half.

Arteta revealed Partey has a “significant injury” and will therefore spend some time on the sidelines, but that gives Lokonga a “great opportunity” to show what he can do.

With Tierney now ruled out for the season after undergoing knee surgery, Tavares will likely be required to step up.

Arteta mentioned the star is “ready and willing” to impress within the side in his teammate’s absence.

Last time out – Crystal Palace 3-0 Arsenal

Alexandre Lacazette Crystal Palace v Arsenal

Aaron Ramsdale returned to the side following a minor injury which kept him out against Aston Villa. The usual centre-back partnership of Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes started.

Cedric Soares started at right-back, as has been the norm in the absence of Tomiyasu. Tavares started for just the seventh time in the league at left-back but was hooked at the mid-way point.

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Granit Xhaka started alongside Thomas Partey in holding-midfield. The latter was forced off in the second half.

Emile Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka played in behind the striker – none of which performed to the peak of their powers.

Alexandre Lacazette occupied the striker position and has now scored just one goal in his last 10 in the league.

Predicted Arsenal team against Brighton

Ramsdale will start in goal and will have high hopes of putting the three goals he shipped last time out to bed.

White and Gabriel will continue as the centre-backs. Cedric is likely to play at right-back, with Tavares – despite only lasting 45 minutes against the Eagles – expected to play at left-back.

Xhaka could be partnered by Lokonga in the absence of Partey. He was Partey’s replacement following the injury at Selhurst Park.

Saka and Odegaard are likely to continue in the attacking positions but Smith Rowe could once again be relegated to the bench with Gabriel Martinelli recalled.

Lacazette – who will be desperate to score – should play as the striker again.

Predicted Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tavares; Xhaka, Lokonga; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Lacazette

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