It’s been a rough first half of the season for Arsenal, and speculation over Mikel Arteta’s future as manager is mounting.
The Gunners are in the midst of their worst start to a league campaign for a number of decades, and were eliminated from the Carabao Cup in mid-week with ease by Manchester City.
And with Chelsea next up for them in the Premier League on Boxing Day, the north London side could be staring at yet more festive disappointment.
Arteta will surely have to make some big calls and key changes to liven up his team, and with that in mind, below is a look at how they might line up against Frank Lampard’s Blues.
After making the controversial call to leave him out of the quarter-final against City, Arteta will no doubt bring Bernd Leno back into the starting line-up, and hope that the German can bring a bit more calmness to the Gunners back-line.
The likes of Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney should also all return to the first-team, with the trio among those names rested in mid-week – only Gabriel should keep his place, having served his one-match suspension against Everton last weekend.
In midfield, Mohamed Elneny hasn’t quite the heights like he did against Manchester United in Arsenal’s 1-0 win at Old Trafford, and the Egyptian could make way for Granit Xhaka.
One of the more surprising omissions from Tuesday night was Reiss Nelson, and the England U21 international will surely be hoping that was because Arteta sees him as a potential starter against Chelsea.
And having made his comeback against City, Gabriel Martinelli will look to give Arsenal an extra edge in attack as long as he shakes off the knock he picked up in the Carabao Cup.
Predicted XI: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Ceballos, Saka; Nelson, Lacazette, Martinelli.