The Arsenal lineup that should start against West Ham

The Arsenal lineup that should start against West Ham

They may not have made it easy for themselves against Olympiacos on Thursday, but it wouldn’t be Arsenal if they had, would it?

The Gunners eventually edged past the Greek outfit with relative comfort, booking their place in the Europa League quarter-finals, while simultaneously keeping their dreams of Champions League qualification alive.

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However, Mikel Arteta and co must return to the never-ending nightmare that is the Premier League, where they take on an inspired West Ham on Sunday afternoon.

Arsenal remain way off the pace in terms of qualifying for a European spot, but victory over the fifth-placed Hammers would go some way towards boosting their hopes of continental football next year.

David Moyes’ side are no mugs, however, and Arteta will have to get his lineup spot on for this London derby. But who should he pick?

90min selects the best Arsenal XI available to the Spaniard…

Kieran TierneyKieran Tierney
Tierney is becoming a firm favourite at the Emirates | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Bernd Leno (GK) – No competition for this spot, considering they sold their best goalkeeper in the summer. In all seriousness though, Leno is as solid a number one as they come.

Cedric Soares (RB) – Not sure many of us would have predicted this at the start of the season, but Soares is doing more than enough to keep Hector Bellerin out of the team.

David Luiz (CB) – An infuriating player to have in your side, but Arteta has managed to help Luiz unlearn his clown training – which now only rears its head at a minimum.

Gabriel (CB) – The Brazilian is growing into a Premier League quality defender, and he has only helped the Gunners to form a solid and stubborn backline.

Kieran Tierney (LB) – The first name on the team sheet? It probably wouldn’t be a complete exaggeration to suggest as much. Tierney is everything Arsenal fans want to see in a player, and he’ll be a regular as long as he’s fit.

Martin OdegaardMartin Odegaard
Odegaard is hitting his stride | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Thomas Partey (CM) – A powerful, destructive player in the middle of the park. Thomas can really dictate the tempo of the game when he’s on form. A battle between the Ghanaian and Declan Rice is one to be relished.

Granit Xhaka (CM) – Aside from the occasional brain farts and hysterical clangers, Xhaka is a safe bet for a 7/10 performance most weeks. They’ll need his physicality and grit against the likes of Tomas Soucek in the Hammers’ midfield. Odds on to be booked, mind you.

Martin Odegaard (AM) – Cor, this boy is decent, isn’t he? Odegaard is finally starting to show his true class, and he’s got it in abundance. In fact, he has been the difference between winning and losing in recent outings. He could have the same impact this weekend, too.

Alexandra LacazetteAlexandra Lacazette
Lacazette is performing well for the Gunners | Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

Nicolas Pepe (RW) – There are doubts over the fitness of starlet Bukayo Saka, so Arteta may deem it wise to give the winger a break and hand Pepe another start. He did terrorise Leicester City at the end of February, and will be raring to justify his price tag once again.

Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – Decisive in the north London derby, and well rested during the Olympiacos battle, Lacazette is ready to go again against the Hammers.

Emile Smith-Rowe (LW) –
What?! No Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?! Well, let’s be honest, he rightly got the boot for turning up late for the biggest game of the season, and then didn’t set the world alight in midweek. Smith-Rowe, on the other hand, was brilliant against Spurs and has done nothing to warrant losing his place. Time to dig in, Pierre-Emerick.

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