Arsenal face Burnley in the Premier League with both Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka shaking off injuries in a dream scenario.
The first of what should be a favourable run for the Gunners although I have felt like I’ve said and written these words so much now that fate has been tempted to make sure to touch wood at the earliest opportunity. Burnley are the immediate threat and if we’re being brutally honest despite all the hype around Vincent Kompany’s side they have seriously disappointed.
Arsenal dispatched their first newly-promoted opponent Sheffield United just a couple of weeks ago comfortable at the Emirates with a 5-0 win and Eddie Nketiah scoring a hat-trick. However, the striker is a serious doubt for the game having picked up a knock at Newcastle to join the long list of Gunners on the treatment table.
The international break follows the clash with Burnley this weekend. It is yet another gap in the domestic season that perhaps comes at another fortuitous time for Arsenal as they hope to have players benefit from further rest and recovery.
With that said, what a dream line-up might look like for the weekend could include a surprise returner. Yet, we start in goal and Aaron Ramsdale will be coming into the side for certain after the break with David Raya unable to face his parent club Brentford so getting some minutes prior to this would be smart in my view.
In defence, the injury suffered by Takehiro Tomiyasu against Sevilla means that Oleksandr Zinchenko comes in to allow some recovery for the Japanese international. Gabriel Magalhaes, William Saliba and Ben White maintain their usual spots in the starting eleven.
Into midfield and Declan Rice holds the midfield trio with the impressive Jorginho dropping to the bench this time. It is in front of the England international where we hope to see Martin Odegaard return after a spell on the sidelines.
However, if he does return it would be preferable for him to switch to the left in a small experiment. In the Norwegian’s stead, Kai Havertz has performed more encouragingly when in the right-ten slot and so therefore it would make sense to allow this momentum to continue building.
In attack it is a predictable trio, especially in the wake of the injuries. Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, who will need to shake off his own injury concern, flank Leandro Trossard with the three forwards all having excellent showings in the Champions League and hope to form a strong relationship in the coming weeks whilst Jesus is still out.
Dream Arsenal XI vs Burnley: Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Rice, Odegaard, Havertz; Saka, Trossard, Martinelli