Arsenal predicted line-up vs. West Ham: two changes made amid doubts over £75m duo
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Last year’s runners-up are flying high after a brilliant 3-1 win over Liverpool last weekend, but Mikel Arteta’s side come into the game against the reigning Europa Conference League champions with question marks over the fitness of several key players.
We’ve brought together all of the latest team news and injury updates for the Gunners ahead of the short journey to the East End, and predicted a likely starting XI as well as they look to build on that crucial victory at the Emirates - and if you're after some information to help you select your Fantasy Premier League team, check out our high-flying manager's regular advice column here.
Goalkeeper & Defence
Oleksandr Zinchenko is the big doubt at the back for Arsenal. The Ukrainian international was replaced at half-time against Liverpool after feeling discomfort in his calf muscle. No further updates have been provided since, with Arteta simply saying after last week’s game that “we don’t know” how severe the issue is.
Elsewhere, summer signing Jurriën Timber remains a long-term absentee but is back in light training – although it remains highly doubtful that the young Dutchman will play again this season despite being named in Arsenal’s Champions League squad for the knock-out rounds, which was largely an administrative formality rather than an indication of substantial progress.
In better news, full-back Takehiro Tomiyasu should be available after his Asian Cup run with Japan was ended at the quarter-final stage by Iran last Saturday. Assuming Zinchenko misses out, he will compete for the left-back slot with Poland international Jakub Kiwior.
Portuguese midfielder Fábio Vieira is inching closer to a return after successful groin surgery and has resumed training, but it is likely that the game against West Ham will come a week or two too soon for him to participate. The 23-year-old should be back later in February.
Thomas Partey is also closer to a return having missed the Africa Cup of Nations with a persistent thigh problem. The Ghanaian is back in training as well but Arteta has kept details of his progress a closely-guarded secret – but did imply that he was getting closer to full match fitness ahead of the Liverpool game, which he ended up missing. Not likely to get further than the bench when he does return, in any case.
Bukayo Saka endured an injury scare after he was substituted following a collision with Liverpool forward Darwin Núñez, but is not expected to miss any game time. Arteta has stated that “he should be fine” after picking up the knock, and his withdrawal appears to have been purely precautionary.
Meanwhile, Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus is also a doubt after missing the Liverpool match. The former Manchester City striker had fluid on his knee but Arteta described the issue as “a short-term thing” and there is every chance that he lines up against the Hammers on Sunday afternoon.
Arsenal predicted line-up vs. West Ham
Raya; Tomiyasu, Gabriel, Saliba, White; Rice, Havertz, Ødegaard; Martinelli, Saka, Jesus.