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Arsenal predicted XI v Liverpool if Xhaka, ESR and Saka are all ruled out

Arsenal return to Premier League action on Saturday night, Mikel Arteta’s charges hosting Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners went into the international break on the back of a 3-3 draw with West Ham, the North Londoners coming back from three goals down.

Prior to that, Arsenal had lost to Olympiacos in their Europa League last-16 second leg, though the Gunners still went through on aggregate.

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Likewise, Liverpool have had their fair share of poor results this season, though they went into the international break on the back of a 1-0 win over Wolves.

So, who could Arteta look to pick in his starting XI?

First of all, let’s look at the club’s latest fitness update – David Luiz has been ruled out, while Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Granit Xhaka will be assessed ahead of kickoff.

All four would’ve been considered shoo-ins for the XI if fit, so let’s look at who could feature in the worst-case scenario of all four being unavailable.

Luiz’s absence could allow Arteta to go for the Rob Holding and Pablo Mari partnership that has worked so well in the past.

Kieran Tierney has cemented his place on the left, while Calum Chambers was outstanding against West Ham and could be rewarded with another start on the right.

If Xhaka is missing, Mohamed Elneny could partner Thomas Partey in midfield, the two having formed a reliable pivot that has worked well in big games.

ESR has been doing well on the left of attack, but if he’s out, then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is likely to be deployed there instead.

It would be great to see Gabriel Martinelli start there, but let’s face it, is Arteta really going to keep his captain on the bench against Liverpool?

On the other side, Nicolas Pepe is likely to replace Saka if he’s out, while Martin Odegaard and Alexandre Lacazette have cemented their places at No. 10 and No. 9 respectively.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal predicted XI v Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Leno; Chambers, Holding, Mari, Tierney; Partey, Elneny; Pepe, Odegaard, Aubameyang; Lacazette

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