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Arsenal: Arteta can rest Bukayo Saka by unleashing Reiss Nelson

Arsenal now face a tough away tie against Chelsea on Sunday afternoon as they look to continue their excellent Premier League form this season.

Ten wins, one draw and one loss has taken Mikel Arteta’s men to the top of the league table, two points ahead of his former club and the defending champions, Manchester City.

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The Spaniard will be making sweeping changes to the rotated squad that defeated Zurich on Thursday evening; however, some players should keep their places for the visit to Stamford Bridge.

Reiss Nelson started against the Swiss side; however, he should keep his place in the starting XI – despite Bukayo Saka coming off the bench following his injury scare against Nottingham Forest last week.

On the chalkboard

The 22-year-old proved that he could shine under Arteta, scoring twice against Forest after he came on for Saka, and he can be the ideal alternative for the England international.

Not only did he grab just his second and third league goals for the club last weekend, but he also was a livewire out on the right wing, registering an assist while also making two key passes during the tie.

Nelson was up for it the moment he arrived on the pitch and took 52 touches during the tie, constantly craving the ball, while an 89% pass success rate proved he wasn’t wasteful with it either.

It was always going to be difficult to replicate that performance against Zurich, however, he did manage one key pass and an 86% pass success rate.

The £15k-per-week gem was given high praise by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who said Nelson “has shown that he can dribble, go past people and he isn’t fazed by the occasion.”

And the onus is now on the 22-year-old to constantly produce at the highest level.

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With Arteta likely to manage Saka’s injury until he departs for the World Cup in a couple of weeks’ time, Nelson might just get the opportunity he has waited for.

It’s up to him whether or not to stake his claim for a regular spot in the starting XI.