Arsenal will go into a Premier League game with some confidence for the first time in over six weeks. We finally ended our terrible winless run with a fine performance against Chelsea, and we have to build on that.
Mikel Arteta’s men take on Brighton and Hove Albion who have been a bit of a bogey team for us recently. The Seagulls are unbeaten against us in our last five meetings with our last win dating back to October 2017.
Graham Potter did the double over us last season and he will be looking to get another win against Arsenal. Former Gunner Danny Welbeck will also want to prove a point tonight just like he did the last time he faced us in Watford’s colours.
Four players ruled out
We will have to be at our absolute best to beat Brighton tonight but we will have to do so without four of our key players. Arsenal delivered a fitness update on the official website and the four players who missed the game against Chelsea will be out again.
Gabriel has reportedly tested positive for the virus and he is guaranteed to miss our next two games. That is a huge blow as the defender has arguably been our best player this season.
His Brazilian teammates Willian and David Luiz are also set to miss the game at the Amex. The duo are training on their own after recovering from their illness and they will only join the squad on the 31st of December.
The best possible news is about Thomas Partey. The Ghanaian has been out of action since the North London derby at the start of the month. He has returned to training but he is still being assessed by the medical staff ahead of a return.
Arteta needs to be careful with Partey. We already rushed him once and that backfired. Bringing him back before he is completely fit is a risk we simply cannot afford to take ahead of the second half of the season.
Arsenal have no reason to change anything tomorrow, but fatigue might force Arteta’s hands. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should be fit again and it will be interesting to see if he makes his way straight back into the starting XI ahead of Gabriel Martinelli or Alexandre Lacazette tonight.