Arteta Drops £46m Man As 21-year-old Starts: Arsenal Predicted Xi For Norwich

Arsenal head into their Boxing Day clash with Norwich City riding the crest of a wave. 

The Gunners have now won their last four games on the spin, scoring 14 goals in that time.

It seems likely, therefore, that Mikel Arteta won’t be making too many radical changes to his starting line-up which has featured in the last few Premier League matches.

And in this piece we pick the team we believe that the Arsenal boss will go with tomorrow.


Aaron Ramsdale’s place seems secure in goal now, as does Takehiro Tomiyasu’s, Gabriel’s and Ben White’s in defence.

The only spot which is really up for grabs is at left-back, where Nuno Tavares and Kieran Tierney are both viable candidates to start.

It is Tierney who has the shirt right now though, and it seems most likely that he will keep it for this game.


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It would be a shock if Arteta went for any pair other than Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey here.

The Arsenal boss seems to have great faith in them, and when they are both available, they start.


This is where things really get interesting for Arsenal.

The Gunners have so many attacking players in-form that Arteta faces selection problems when picking his four-man attack.

Eddie Nketiah and Nicolas Pepe may have been in with a chance of breaking into Arsenal’s Premier League squad at any other point in the season, after they impress against Sunderland in the League Cup.

However, Arsenal have too many in-form players to suggest that either of them will start at Carrow Road. 

Gabriel Martinelli’s position seems safe, as does Bukayo Saka – but surely Arteta will want to bring Emile Smith Rowe back in. 

Martin Odegaard has been in sparkling form of late, so we think he may continue as the number 10, with Smith Rowe starting out left and Martinelli introduced up-front.

That would be harsh on Alexandre Lacazette, who has also impressed of late, but it is difficult to leave Smith-Rowe out given that he has scored three times in his last three outings in the Premier League.

And it could be that the £46 million Frenchman is the one to miss out. 

Predicted XI: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Smith-Rowe; Martinelli.