Arsenal prepare to face Brighton on Boxing Day as they travel to the Amex Stadium.
The Gunners are without a number of key defensive personnel as Shkodran Mustafi, Hector Bellerin, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Nacho Monreal and Ron Holding are all ruled out with injury.
This has resulted in Granit Xhaka being used as a utility centre-back alongside Greek defender Sokratis. Laurent Koscielny made his return from a lengthy injury against Southampton last week but appeared rusty, however he may be needed.
Danny Welbeck and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are also ruled out from playing due to ankle injuries.
Here’s how Arsenal may line up against Brighton on Wednesday.
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Bernd Leno (GK) – The German shot stopper was definitely at fault for Southampton’s winner in his last appearance and was dropped as a result for Arsenal’s midweek game against Tottenham. However he returned against Burnley and will keep his place.
Stephan Lichtsteiner (RB) – Ainsley Maitland-Niles has featured in the last couple of games at full-back but manager Unai Emery should return to his most experienced full-back to help considering the injuries they have right now.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos (CB) – As Arsenal’s only match fit centre-back Sokratis will have to play regardless. Emery will need him to be at his best.
Laurent Koscielny (CB) – The Frenchman has struggled mightily in his only two appearances so far this season and appears way off the pace. In better circumstances Emery would probably have wanted to keep him rested but he may be forced to play him.
Sead Kolasinac (LB) – The Bosnian was impressive on the weekend against Burnley and with Monreal out injured, he will have to play.
Mesut Ozil (RAM) – Mkhitaryan’s absence provided the German playmaker with a rare start against Burnley but an impressive display should see him keep his place.
Lucas Torreira (CM) – The Uruguayan has impressed during his short time in London and he now seems indispensable. There’s no way Emery will be leaving him out for any games with any semblance of importance.
Granit Xhaka (CM) – The Switzerland international has had to play a lot of his football out of position of late and while he’s done okay, the club are significantly weakened when he can’t start in the middle. Much of Arsenal’s best form this season has come when Xhaka has partnered Torreira.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (LAM) – The Gabonese striker was sensational against Burnley scoring twice. He is now the league’s top scorer with 12 goals and has been incredibly important to Arsenal.
Aaron Ramsey (CAM) – He certainly hasn’t featured much of late in Emery’s new system but Ramsey will be able to offer the fresh legs which will be needed in a congested Christmas schedule.
Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – The Frenchman has a great relationship with Aubameyang and given Arsenal’s defensive struggles Emery might think that attacking will be the best form of defence. Lacazette also provides much better hold up play than Aubameyang which may be important against a physical defence like Brighton.