Bukayo Saka out, Thomas Partey starts amid four Arsenal changes vs Luton Town

Mikel Arteta could potentially make four changes to Arsenal’s line-up for the visit of Luton Town in the Premier League, with concern over Bukayo Saka after the draw vs Man City

Bukayo Saka could get a much-needed rest against Luton Town as Thomas Partey is a potential returner to the Arsenal XI.

Following Arsenal’s draw with Manchester City, they have no more clashes with sides challenging for the title in their remaining nine games of the Premier League season. However, the schedule is gruelling and despite arriving back late on Sunday night, tomorrow they will face Luton Town at the Emirates Stadium.

They had to rely on some Declan Rice magic to win late at Kenilworth Road with a stunning 4-3 victory standing out as one of the games of the season. Luton are a side who can cause anyone problems and they have done as Arsenal will need to be on their best form to win.

That said, with the games coming thick and fast and Mikel Arteta getting back many of his first-team squad from injury, there is potential for the Gunners to rotate and rest some key players ahead of the trip to Brighton this weekend. Arsenal saw a number of their stars pull out of international duty and it is likely a good idea to factor this into the selection on Wednesday night.

David Raya can of course continue in goal. The Spaniard was scrutinised for his distribution against Man City which saw him go long, looking for Jesus and Havertz who have good ability to win aerial duels. But be assured, a return to the slick, short passing will be present this midweek.

Into the defence and Ben White and William Saliba are more than good to continue in the back line but Gabriel Magalhaes was rushed back after pulling out of action with Brazil and a rest here with Takehiro Tomiyasu available would make sense. Jakub Kiwior can also be swapped out for Oleksandr Zinchenko to offer a different style of option and give the Gunners more progression on the left.

Into midfield and the return of Thomas Partey is a welcome one; he needs minutes and Luton appears the perfect game to give them to him. Jorginho’s game time needs to be managed and swapping the pair for this game to partner the ever-present Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard makes a lot of sense.

Kai Havertz needs to continue at centre-forward as his strong form continues to impress. He may have started both games for Germany during the break but his athleticism is one of his strongest assets and having him maintain his spot against a physical and aerially dominant Luton side is imperative.

Into the wide areas, Bukayo Saka came off against Man City with what Mikel Arteta described as fatigue. With that in mind, resting Saka ahead of the weekend clash is definitely preferred but without a recognisable right-wing deputy, it makes sense for Jesus to instead make the switch to the right-hand side.

On the left, Martinelli who came off the bench against City could indeed start here; if not, it makes sense for Leandro Trossard to come in. But getting Martinelli back up to full fitness with a start here is maybe the right call.

Arsenal potential XI vs Luton Town: Raya; White, Saliba, Tomiyasu, Zinchenko; Partey, Rice, Odegaard; Jesus, Havertz, Martinelli.

 

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