How Arsenal could line up against Southampton with Martinelli in line to start again in Aubameyang absence
MIKEL ARTETA admits Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may not return for Tuesday’s clash at Southampton.
He withdrew from the Gunners squad hours before the North London team lost to the Saints in the FA Cup on Saturday.
That was down to a ‘personal issue’ – and he still could be absent when the two sides come head-to-head again in the Premier League.
That means Gabriel Martinelli could start on the left wing as replacement for the Gabonese star.
Arteta made seven changes for Saturday’s fourth round cup tie but is likely to return to his tried-and-trusted for their next trip to the South Coast.
Full-back Kieran Tierney is due to return with David Luiz another due to come back into the defence.
Hector Bellerin will likely be deployed at right-back with Rob Holding due to partner the Brazilian.
Thomas Partey is also set to start in midfield.
And both Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe are expected to play in attack in front of him.
Eddie Nketiah was given the nod to play centrally in attack over the weekend.
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However, Arsenal's nine-goal top scorer Alexandre Lacazette is expected to take his place for this one.
Meanwhile, both Dani Ceballos and Pablo Mari could also return.
They have been struggling with respective calf issues but may be ready to take their place back in the matchday squad.
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