How Arsenal could line up against Fulham with Aubameyang out after malaria scare and Saka and Smith Rowe rested

MIKEL ARTETA's Arsenal take on Fulham this weekend aiming to string together back to back victories in the Premier League for the first time since January.

The Spaniard's side have been riddled with inconsistency this season, but will be buoyed by Thursday night's 4-0 trouncing of Slavia Prague in the Europa League.

Arteta, 38, will now need to strike a delicate balance between keeping his key men fresh, while also maintaining positive momentum on the pitch.

The success, are lack thereof, of Arsenal's season, will almost certainly be more determined by their upcoming Europa League semi-finals with Unai Emery's Villarreal.

But the North Londoners can't just neglect their league campaign, especially when they sit just one point above the bottom half.

Bernd Leno will start between the sticks, while Rob Holding and Pablo Mari are beginning to build a nice partnership in front of the German.

Gabriel Magalhaes could be given a game if Arteta wants to rotate, but David Luiz is still missing with a knee injury and isn't in contention.

Versatile Granit Xhaka could continue at left-back in Kieran Tierney's absence, although Cedric Soares is available.

Calum Chambers has been favoured at right-back of late, but Arteta can freshen up his side with Hector Bellerin's speed.

Thomas Partey is finally fit and firing and should start, and Egyptian star Mohamed Elneny could return alongside him, with Dani Ceballos a little further forward.


If Arteta opts to rest both young guns Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, the experienced Willian could step in – although don't be surprised if at least one of them DO start, with Martin Odegaard still missing with an ankle injury.

Gabriel Martinelli was handed a rare start on the left against Sheffield United last weekend.

And in the continued absence of skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, he could do so again on Sunday.

The Brazilian may not have much time to impress before the Gabonese star is back, however, with Arteta confirming that his star man will soon return to training.

He said: "Let's see how he recovers, obviously when you get a disease like this it can take a bit for the body to feel in good condition to the extreme condition we put the body through in our sport.

"But he wants to come back very quickly, he is looking forward to being back with the team so let's wait."

In-form Nicolas Pepe bagged against Slavia on Thursday and could continue his red-hot form against the Cottagers.

And Alexandre Lacazette will get the nod upfront, with Eddie Nketiah and potentially Folarin Balogun on the bench.

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