Three ways Arsenal can line up against Brentford as Mikel Arteta eyes Gabriel Martinelli replacement

Arsenal are looking to put more pressure on Man United in the race for the top four as they hope to build on their important win over Wolves last week with a revenge win over Brentford.

The Gunners opened the scoring against Bruno Lage’s side in the first half as Gabriel Magalhaes found the back of the net from close range, with the visitors managing to save all three points at Molineux.

Next up for Mikel Arteta’s side is a home clash with Brentford on Saturday after their scheduled game against Chelsea this weekend was postponed due to the Blues’ appearance in the FIFA Club World Cup.

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Their postponement against the European and world champions saw Ralf Rangnick’s Man United side rack up more Premier League games under their belts, with the Red Devils adding a four-point buffer past the North Londoners having played three more games than their top four rivals. .

Draws against Burnley and Southampton – coupled with their win over 10-man Brighton in midweek – opened up a chance for Arteta and co to claim a rare top four for a side that have been starved of Champions League football in recent times. seasons.

If they want to profit from this weekend’s mission against an indifferent Bees formation, they will have to do it without Gabriel Martinelli and the doubtful Takehiro Tomiyasu, who, unlike the Brazilian, has a chance to make the cut after having made a gradual return to the set-up after his injury problems suffered against Leeds and Liverpool respectively.

Despite this blow, the Gunners’ hunger to get one in Thomas Frank’s side should be great after what happened on the opening day of the 2021/22 campaign.

A shock 2-0 defeat for Arsenal at the Community Stadium in Brentford on the opening night shocked the Premier League, but fast forward to now and the north London side enter the reverse game as greats favorites, especially considering how the form of the bees has plunged since. their impressive opening spell.

With all of this taken into account, football.londontakes a look at three possible ways Arteta could choose to field his side for this London Derby.

Nicolas Pepe enters

Nicolas Pepe has sent a five-word message after returning to Arsenal training.  (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Nicolas Pepe has sent a five-word message after returning to Arsenal training. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

One man who hasn’t seen much action in recent weeks is winger Nicolas Pepe.

This is partly due to his involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations, and another reason is that his manager prefers other options. That includes Gabriel Martinelli, who has really carried the Gunners to success in recent weeks, apart from what he did at Molineux, of course.

With the Brazilian now suspended, it could potentially see the 26-year-old redeem himself on Arteta’s books, having played just nine Premier League games this season with those consisting of a mix of starts and appearances. replacement.

if the 26-year-old’s future is not to improve in north London, questions about his role at the club will certainly be there for everyone this summer.

Option 1- Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Pepe; Lacazette.

Takehiro Tomiyasu returns to the line-up

Japan international Tomiyasu has been struggling with a calf injury of late and missed out on last week’s win over Wolves.

The versatile right-back first suffered the problem in the 4-1 win over Leeds United in December, but tried to break through the pain barrier in last month’s 2-0 loss to Liverpool in the game return from the semi-final of the Carabao Cup.

Arteta has confirmed the Japan international has returned to training ahead of the trip to Wolverhampton.

“He’s here. He had a recurring injury in the same spot, so we had to be careful with him, but he’s been training hard. Let’s see if he’s available for Thursday.”

With the opposition an out-of-form and indifferent Brentford side, Arteta may see this as the perfect time to bring the defender back into the fold.

Option 2- Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Pepe; Lacazette.

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Smith Rowe rather than Pepe?

The Croydon-born youngster has been in and out of the squad lately, but most notably in December 2021 when he limped off in the 3-2 defeat at Man United.

Since returning from injury, the 21-year-old has appeared in various games, usually to compliment or replace Martin Odegaard who started in Wolves’ last win.

However, with Martinelli now out of the squad, could Arteta’s Arsenal No.10 fit into a wide left position for now if he felt like he had to be the best option on Pepe for this game?

Maybe Arteta could get creative instead and switch Bukayo Saka to the left instead, and play the natural central attacking midfielder on the right for this contest.

These questions will be answered on Saturday at 2 p.m. when the team news is released.

Variant 3- Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Lacazette.

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