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Arteta makes bold Auba decision, £110k-a-week man dropped - predicted Arsenal XI v West Ham

Arsenal will hope to cap off a good week with a victory in their last Premier League game before the international break.

The Gunners triumphed in the North London derby last Sunday and reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League, booking themselves a tie with Slavia Prague.

Arsenal didn’t make it easy for themselves against Olympiacos on Thursday night, however, losing 1-0 and sneaking through by virtue of their 3-1 first-leg win.

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Up next for the Gunners side is Sunday’s trip to West Ham, and Mikel Arteta has been boosted by the news that Bukayo Saka is available for selection.

The 19-year-old was rested against Olympiacos due to a hamstring issue but has responded well to treatment, has participated in training and has been cleared to play.

Meanwhile, Willian is recovering well from a calf issue, has participated in training and will be assessed ahead of the match regarding his availability.

So, who could Arteta pick in his starting XI?

Given it’s the last game before the international break, the boss probably won’t be too concerned with rotating his players.

The back line is likely to remain similar to that which played against – Bernd Leno in goal, Kieran Tierney on the left, and a centre-back pairing of David Luiz and Gabriel.

One potential change at the back could see Hector Bellerin replaced by Cedric Soares, who has been staking a claim to become first-choice on the right.

Granit Xhaka is likely to remain in midfield, while Mohamed Elneny should make way for Thomas Partey.

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Although Saka is available, Arteta shouldn’t risk him from the off – if so, Nicolas Pepe is likely to start on the right.

Given Bellerin’s link-up play with Pepe wasn’t great in midweek, this is another reason why Cedric could replace the £110,000-a-week Spaniard.

Martin Odegaard should return at No. 10 in place of Dani Ceballos, while fellow playmaker Emile Smith Rowe is likely to go on the left, where he’s done well.

And while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struggled at No. 9 in midweek, we feel Arteta will probably give him a chance to redeem himself before the international break, when the boss can take stock and make tactical and positional changes if need be.

Arsenal predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Leno; Cedric, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Pepe, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Aubameyang

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