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Arsenal predicted XI v Saints: Boyhood Gunner to make debut, young ‘superstar’ returns

Arsenal are in FA Cup fourth round action on Saturday, hoping to take a step further to retaining the trophy.

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners will take to the road for a trip to Southampton in a 12:15pm kickoff.

While the transfer window is providing plenty of exciting speculation for Arsenal fans, the team’s return to form also means optimism for the season is well and truly back on.

The Gunners are unbeaten in six games in all competitions, having won five of those, with 13 goals scored and just one conceded.

So, who could Arteta look to pick in his starting XI?


(Photo by NEIL HALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Given there could be a shuffling of the pack with a view to Tuesday’s Premier League clash against the same opposition at the same ground, Bernd Leno could well be given a break.

Now, with Alex Runarsson having struggled when called upon, Arteta could look to give Mat Ryan his debut in between the Gunners sticks.

The Australia international, a boyhood Arsenal fan, joined on loan from Brighton on Friday, and providing the paperwork is completed in time, could be eligible.

Arteta is likely to retain the 4-2-3-1 formation from the Newcastle win, and we predict Gabriel Magalhaes will make his return to the back four, partnered by David Luiz.

On the flanks, meanwhile, Kieran Tierney is likely to be rested, Ainsley Maitland-Niles taking his place on the left, while Hector Bellerin could return on the right.

With Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka eyed for the league game, chances are Arteta will make changes in midfield too – we predict Mohamed Elneny and Joe Willock to come in.

Likewise, there could be an overhaul of the front four, with a view to resting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette.

We predict Nicolas Pepe, Willian and Eddie Nketiah will get another chance to show Arteta what they’re capable of, while Gabriel Martinelli should also get a start on his return to full fitness.

There are high hopes for the 19-year-old, who Aubameyang said would become a “superstar”, and hopefully his class and energy will rub off on his fellow attackers.

Arsenal v Manchester City - Carabao Cup Quarter Final

(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal predicted XI v Brighton (4-2-3-1): Ryan; Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Maitland-Niles; Willock, Elneny; Pepe, Willian, Martinelli; Nketiah

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