Arsenal welcome West Ham United to the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night as Mikel Arteta is reunited with David Moyes.
The Arsenal boss played more games (209) under Moyes’ stewardship during their six and a half years shared at Everton than any other coach in his career. Arteta went from a goal every six matches with Moyes to one in nine under the watch of Arsene Wenger after West Ham’s current coach sold the then-29-year-old to the Gunners for an £8m profit.
Here’s the XI Arteta may deploy to continue his unbeaten managerial record against his former boss.
Aaron Ramsdale (GK) – Arsenal’s revelation between the posts showed the positive impact he can have with his feet as well as his hands against Southampton last weekend.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (RB) – A freak childhood treadmill accident proved the fork in the road that steered Arsenal’s Japan international away from following his sisters into the swimming pool in favour of the football pitch.
Ben White (CB) – By starting alongside Gabriel for the 13th consecutive Premier League match last weekend, White and his Brazilian partner eclipsed the dozen-long sequence Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi strung together in 2016.
Gabriel (CB) – Removed shortly after his second Premier League goal of the season (double Harry Kane’s tally on the other side of north London) the towering Brazilian centre back was only taken off to avoid a second yellow card rather than any injury scare.
Kieran Tierney (LB) – Spared the ignominy of Arsenal‘s Anfield mauling or Old Trafford defeat while recovering from injury, Tierney hasn’t been on the pitch for a defeat since August after getting subbed off against Everton while the Gunners led 1-0.
Thomas Partey (CM) – By his own grading system, Partey would score his Arsenal displays at ‘four out of ten’, though Arteta clearly rates him higher given his unwavering selection when fit.
Albert Sambi Lokonga (CM) – Given Granit Xhaka’s lengthy injury layoff, Arteta may be advised to turn to the figure that replaced the returning midfielder earlier in the season ahead of another intense Premier League affair four days after his last start.
Martin Odegaard (AM) – The driving force behind Arsenal’s dramatic comeback the last time they faced West Ham is on a run of three goals in as many games, after just two strikes in his first 25 appearances for the club.
Bukayo Saka (RW) – Invariably Arsenal’s brightest (and youngest) attacking spark is understandably (if perhaps, detrimentally going forward) the only Gunner to have featured in every top flight game this season.
Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – While Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wrangles with recurring disciplinary issues, Arteta may well again lean upon a forward who is free to negotiate with other clubs next month.
Gabriel Martinelli (LW) – Fresh from three consecutive Premier League starts for the first time since February 2020, Martinelli could be in line to make it four in a row for the first time in his top flight career to date.