Possible Arsenal Line Up After the International Break

Mikel Arteta is set to welcome back a formidable squad as his Arsenal team regroup after the international break.

Quiet optimism pervades Arsenal’s camp as their fortunes appear to be aligning favourably. Unlike last season, where their title aspirations derailed around this juncture, the Gunners are experiencing an upward trajectory.

With eight consecutive wins, they currently lead the Premier League table and have secured a spot in the Champions League quarter-finals, a feat not accomplished in 14 years.

What enhances the significance of this winning streak is the absence of numerous key players. Only in the recent 4-1 victory over Newcastle did Mikel Arteta manage to field a bench devoid of academy players, a notable departure from previous matches in 2024. Arteta himself acknowledges the importance of the increased squad depth as they approach the crucial phase of the season.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen and we’re going to have a lot of games,” Mikel Arteta said earlier this month. “Freshness, more competition within the squad and the capacity to change games when the scenario is on our side or we are chasing games are something in this period that are going to be critical.”

Now, however, the squad is returning to full strength. Arteta faces the challenge of deciding which players to omit from the matchday squad as options become abundant. It’s a favourable predicament for the manager.

The defence, in particular, is poised for improvement. Jurrien Timber is diligently integrating into full training with the first team, raising hopes of his significant contribution in the upcoming matches.

His return aligns well with the recovery of Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu from calf injuries, bolstering Arsenal’s defensive options substantially. This depth ensures better resilience in case of setbacks like William Saliba’s absence last season.

In midfield, the situation mirrors the defensive resurgence. Thomas Partey’s comeback strengthens Arsenal’s base, providing relief for Declan Rice, who has shouldered heavy minutes since the year began. With Jorginho grappling with a foot injury, Partey’s versatility offers additional support, including covering at right-back.

Fabio Vieira’s return to contention, marked by his first appearance since November in the 6-0 victory over Sheffield United, adds depth to the midfield. Emile Smith Rowe’s full fitness enhances competition in the midfield, challenging Martin Odegaard and Kai Havertz for starting spots.

Moreover, Smith Rowe’s adaptability could prove invaluable on the wing, despite his absence from that position for nearly two years. With Gabriel Martinelli recuperating from a severe foot injury, Smith Rowe emerges as a viable alternative, showcasing the squad’s versatility and depth.

Gabriel Jesus has returned to full fitness following his recovery from yet another knee injury. A versatile player, the Brazilian is capable of operating in any position across the forward line. However, his place in the starting lineup is not assured, given Kai Havertz’s outstanding performances in the number nine position.

As Arsenal gear up for a challenging series of fixtures, their depth in squad will prove vital. Having faced difficulties last season due to a lack of depth, manager Arteta seems to be closer to having all the necessary resources at his disposal to meet the challenges ahead.

Possible Arsenal line up after the international break: Raya; Timber, Saliba, Tomiyasu, Zinchenko; Partey, Rice, Vieira; Saka, Jesus, Smith Rowe.

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