• September 17, 2021

Exclusive: Ben White and Thomas Partey return for under pressure Mikel Arteta, Martin Odegaard and Takehiro Tomiyasu start

 Exclusive: Ben White and Thomas Partey return for under pressure Mikel Arteta, Martin Odegaard and Takehiro Tomiyasu start


Arsenal return to Premier League action this weekend and hope to pick up their first points of the season.

It has been a difficult start to the 2021/22 campaign for Mike Arteta’s side, losing in their opening three fixtures.

Gunners boss Arteta is under serious pressure

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Gunners boss Arteta is under serious pressure

Back-to-back 2-0 defeats to Brentford and Chelsea were followed by a 5-0 mauling by reigning champions Man City.

As if the three defeats weren’t worrying enough, the Gunners are yet to score this season and that will need to change immediately.

Norwich are their next opponents and they visit the Emirates on Saturday at 3pm, a game you can hear live on talkSPORT 2.

Arteta is under increasing pressure following the dismal start to the season that has left them rock bottom of the table.

It has not been without mitigating circumstances, though, with several key stars missing.

Aubameyang will hope to rediscover his goalscoring form this weekend

Getty

Aubameyang will hope to rediscover his goalscoring form this weekend

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Ben White have spent spells on the sideline after testing positive for coronavirus.

But after spending £150million in the summer, there must be a change with results on the pitch.

Technical director Edu understands the pressure and responsibility that comes with trying to improve things.

He told Sky Sports: ”Talking about my role, I understand the pressure. I understand the pressure on me, Mikel, the board and the club because the situation we are in now is not acceptable.

“But, now is the moment for everybody to be together and I would like to see people step forward in difficult moments and take the responsibility.

“I am responsible for what we are doing.”

Edu has been at Arsenal since 2019, becoming their first technical director

GETTY

Edu has been at Arsenal since 2019, becoming their first technical director

Arsenal team news

There will be plenty of changes to the team that lost to City before the international break.

Granit Xhaka will miss the match against Norwich having been sent off against City, and has also subsequently tested positive for coronavirus.

Gabriel and Thomas Partey are both yet to feature this season due to injury but have now returned to training and are in contention to start.

Ben White is also available following his enforced absence after testing positive for COVID-19.

White was Arsenal’s big summer signing, costing £50m

Getty

White was Arsenal’s big summer signing, costing £50m

This means White is likely to go straight back into the defence and partner Gabriel with Kieran Tierney at left-back and new signing Takehiro Tomiyasu at right-back.

The Gunners are short of options in central midfield with Xhaka out and Mohamed Elneny unavailable due to injury.

Partey is the likely partner for Albert Sambi Lokonga.

New signing Martin Odegaard looks set to start again in the central attacking midfield role with Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka either side.

Aubameyang should start through the middle and hope to get his first league goals of the season.

Odegaard made his second debut for Arsenal in their 5-0 loss to Man City

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Odegaard made his second debut for Arsenal in their 5-0 loss to Man City

How Arsenal should look against Norwich

How Arsenal could line-up to face Norwich

How Arsenal could line-up to face Norwich

You can listen to Arsenal vs Norwich live on talkSPORT 2 on Saturday, September 11 at 3pm.

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